R&D Tax Credits: Where does research and development begin and end?

The government’s research and development (R&D) scheme could provide a valuable cash injection for your business when you least expect it. Here at Easy R&D, we could find eligible R&D in places where you least expect it. 

R&D Tax Credits: Where does research and development begin and end? | Easy R&D

Claim back up to 33% of your R&D spend

You could be surprised to discover that R&D is embedded in the daily goings-on of your business. Absolutely any industry is entitled to claim back up to 33% of its R&D spend, and there doesn’t need to be an R&D department, scientist, or white lab coat in sight for your business to qualify. 

A key to a successful R&D Tax Credits claim

While most R&D projects have a start date and an end date, determining those can be challenging. Knowing when an R&D project begins and ends is crucial in capturing all costs and guaranteeing none go amiss. This knowledge is also vital in ensuring you’re not claiming expenses outside of R&D. 

Claiming for things you shouldn’t be could sour your relationship with HMRC — leading to time and cost consuming back and forths with tax inspectors. We make signing off your R&D tax credits claim an Easy one for them to make.

Thanks to our state-of-the-art Easy Portal, we capture your R&D activity in real-time — meaning we’re not looking back on information that could be months or even years old.

The phases of an R&D project

Typically, an R&D project goes through several phases: planning, research, development, testing, marketing, and rollout. Companies will call these phases different things, but the shape of an R&D project is pretty consistent. You can discount the marketing and release phases; creative thinking alone and marketing spending are excluded from the scheme.

R&D begins

R&D work starts when a technological or scientific uncertainty begins, which isn’t readily available or deducible by a competent professional in your field. This could be during the design phase of a project. R&D can be triggered by a problem encountered through a subsequent phase, where a technical or scientific solution is required.

R&D ends

The project ends when you overcome the uncertainty. Yet, your R&D project doesn’t even have to be successful to qualify for R&D tax credits. If it ends before you resolve the unknown, you can still claim for the costs incurred.

The end might not mean the end

You might develop a service, product or process, and resolve all uncertainties, only to find that the final outcome doesn’t quite meet the specification. If the rework throws up more technical dilemmas, the R&D cycle starts again and the more you can claim back.

If you’re unsure where your R&D projects start and end, we can help. You can get in touch with us here.


Every customer and every claim we work with benefits from our deep expertise in how HMRC manages R&D tax credit applications. 

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