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R&D Tax Credits for Architecture

Your architectural business — continually pushing boundaries both through engineering and aesthetics — shapes our everyday lives. 

Design on its own is unlikely to qualify for R&D tax relief. Yet when design seeks to resolve a scientific or technological uncertainty, there’s potential for a claim. 

There are many reasons why architectural practices are underclaiming R&D tax credits — or aren’t even claiming at all. Chief among them is that many architects are unaware that what they do constitutes as R&D. 

Another significant cause is that many architectural practices are still set up as partnerships. The R&D scheme has given firms an incentive to restructure as limited companies — replacing partners with shareholders.

There’s also the mistaken notion that if the solution isn’t successful, the time spent does not qualify, which isn’t the case. The government’s scheme will even reward you in tax credits for unsuccessful projects. It’s not always easy to spot what kinds of things can be claimed, which is where we come in. 

white architecture building

Architecture projects that may qualify for R&D tax relief include:

  • 3D printing
  • Complex optimised structure forms and cladding
  • Designs for unique and challenging environments
  • Developing modular prefabrication and off-site manufactured designs
  • Building information modelling, thermal modelling, and wind modelling

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?