28th November 2023
The United Kingdom has a generous Research & Development (R&D) regime for small and medium sized companies (SME), so if your company carries out any work on innovative projects then it may qualify to take advantage of the reliefs available.
Under the current legislation for every £1,000 an SME spends on qualifying R&D it can claim a tax deduction as if it had spent £1,860. For expenditure prior to 1 April 2023 the deduction would have been even greater at £2,300. It is even possible to claim a tax refund!
An SME is defined as a company with fewer than 500 members of staff and either turnover of under €100 million or a balance sheet total under €86 million and so the vast majority of companies in the UK would qualify.
There are various other conditions and restrictions that would need to be considered, as would be expected for such a generous tax relief and we can advise in detail on these but if your company meets the SME test it is absolutely worth an initial conversation.
The restrictions do include companies receiving certain types of grants and state aid and so it is often worth having the initial conversation with us even before the company does anything, as the R&D claim can sometimes be more generous than claiming a grant.
The recent Autumn Statement has introduced changes to the R&D regime which will come in to force for expenditure incurred on or after 1 April 2024 and we will be able to provide an update of those changes in due course. In the meantime the following is still applicable until that date.
The SME has a number of options available to it as regards the R&D expenditure which can be summarised as follows:
For company expenditure to qualify for the R&D tax relief, it will need to meet certain criteria to show that the project has achieved “an advance in science or technology”. The project must also be related to your company’s trade, either as an existing one or one that you intend to start up when hopefully the R&D proves successful.
The costs must directly relate to the R&D project and can include any of the following:
There are certain types of costs that cannot be claimed such as capital expenditure, although other types of allowance are often available for these.
For accounting periods commencing on or after 1 April 2023, you must submit a form to HMRC in advance of your claim if you are claiming for the first time or if your last claim was made more than 3 years ago. This form needs to be submitted within 6 months of the end of your accounting period. We can of course help with this. For earlier periods this notification procedure above is not relevant and a claim can simply be made when submitting the Corporation Tax Return. You will however need to send details of the project when the claim is made.
The details of the project that you will need to submit to HMRC will deal with the following five key questions:
The R&D regime can provide your company with attractive corporation tax reliefs and cashflow benefits and we at Thompson Jenner can help deal with the requirements to maximise the chance of success with your help. We have many years of supporting our clients with R&D claims so have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through the process from start to finish. Should you wish to find out more about the scheme or wish us to help you with a claim, please do not hesitate to contact one of our partners who will be more than happy to help!