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R&D tax credits for PR and marketing

Research and development (R&D) is rife in PR and marketing. Yet, many people in the industries believe that the government’s R&D tax credits scheme only applies to scientists or industrial engineers. 

The truth is that the government’s criteria for claiming is purposefully broad. No one in your company needs to wear lab coats or oily overalls for the work you do to count as R&D and make you eligible for valuable R&D tax credits. You could also be missing out on valuable funds to inject straight back into your business and spend however you choose. 

As PR and marketing are caught between technical, creative, and business skill sets, it’s essential to identify some principles of claiming for R&D tax credits. The first is the crucial distinction between creative innovation and technical innovation. A great deal of marketing work — including digital — requires daily creative thinking, but this isn’t eligible for R&D tax credits. 

To qualify for the scheme, we’ll need to present to HMRC how you sought an advance in technical innovation. We say “sought” because the R&D tax credits scheme will even reward you in tax credits for unsuccessful projects — providing the intention was there. 

The good news is that technical innovation can occur in many ways — particularly in digital marketing — whether you specialise in augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), or artificial intelligence (AI).

To qualify for the scheme, you’ll need to be facing uncertainties. Trialling to overcome these is a good sign of eligibility. The technical advance doesn’t need to be rocket science but a distinct and unique improvement on what’s currently available in your field. 

There also needs to be a risk involved in developing the solution. A typical scenario is that you’re footing the bill — regardless of the outcome.

With so many ambitious agencies out there, competition is constantly fierce. R&D tax credits have the power for you to stay ahead, anticipate customer demands and trends, and outpace your competitors.

Averaging £54,000 per claim, we’re a business built around expert tax professionals, skilled technical report writers, and flawless processes to ensure your R&D claims are successful — with maximum return. What qualifies may surprise you. Contact us to to find out if your business qualifies for the R&D tax credits scheme. 

marketing data

PR and marketing projects that may qualify for R&D tax relief include:

  • Customises algorithms for data search and analysis
  • Geo-targeting to provide a more relevant onsite experience for each visitor
  • Retargeting where visitors are identified and remarketed to using search or social media ads
  • Integrating disparate data systems in a new or untested way, e.g. integrating customer relationship management (CRM) with other marketing software or databases
  • Predictive analytics by leveraging artificial AI and machine learning to combine insights generated through various datasets, algorithms and models to predict future behaviours

Key questions on R&D tax relief answered

What activities can be included in a R&D project?

  • Defining technical objectives
  • Identifying uncertainties
  • Feasibility studies, reviewing new and competing technologies
  • Analysing, designing and developing the technology
  • Producing technical specification or other documents to explain and support the R&D project and advancement
  • Testing the product, process, service or software
  • Planning and managing projects
  • Administration, finance and personnel services specifically required to support R&D activities
  • Training to support R&D

What expenditure can be claimed for in a R&D project?

  • Staff Costs – Employee costs (salary, national insurance and employer pension) are apportioned for their time spent on the R&D project plus any reimbursed associated business expenses
  • Software – Purchased for R&D purposes and costs apportioned for any subsequent use
  • Subcontracted R&D – You can claim 65% of what you paid your R&D subcontractor
  • Utilities & Consumables – Water, fuel, power and material used in the project
  • Prototypes – Produced for R&D purposes

About Easy R&D’s R&D tax credit claim process

Claiming R&D tax relief is a niche.

Here at Easy R&D, we’ll probe your company’s activities to reveal the true extent of your company’s R&D.

Averaging £54,000 per claim, we’re a business built around expert tax professionals, skilled technical report writers, and flawless processes to ensure your R&D claims are successful — with maximum return. You could even reduce your corporation tax bill to zero.

HMRC’s criteria for claiming is purposefully broad, so what qualifies may surprise you.


Interested in claiming R&D tax credits?