I am astonished at the low take-up of the Research and Development Tax Credit by small businesses in the UK. It’s one of the best ways of saving tax, and conserving (or getting repayments of) real cash in your business. Large businesses, with their high paid accountancy firms, are doing well, so why isn’t your SME business benefiting too? The UK is known as fostering innovation in business, yet this key benefit is not being taken full advantage of. Why is this? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons. Myth 1: You have to be inventing something brand new. Not so. The R&D tax credit is not reserved for companies that invent something really novel or register a patent. It can also be claimed by  companies that are improving or modifying an existing product or improving a manufacturing process—that is, making a product cleaner, quicker, greener, cheaper, etc in an innovative way.  The only limitation is that is must involve science and technology. So, computer software, architecture, engineering, energy production, waste processing, medical devices and so on are all good candidates for the R&D tax credit. Myth 2: The R&D tax credit is only for organisations with guys in white coats in laboratories fiddling with test tubes. Whilst it is true that companies involved in basic research are clearly prime candidates for this R&D tax credit, the credit is very much about encouraging applied science – taking new ideas and making things happen with them. Solving a customer’s problem or a production issue using known scientific principles is right where this credit is aimed.   Problem solving on the shop floor, in the field, on the site, behind a computer – all may eligible for the R&D tax credit. Myth 3: The R&D tax credit isn’t for companies in my industry. Wrong again. Thousands of businesses across the country from a wide range of disciplines claim the credit, including civil engineering and architectural companies and businesses involved in everything from chemicals  to computer software and electronics, food processing and agriculture as well as energy such as solar, wind and oil and gas. Writing yourself off or bad advice from professionals are the biggest blocks to companies like yours claiming their due R&D tax credit. Myth 4: The R&D tax credit is not for me, it is only for big companies. It is true that the big guys, with their armies of tax lawyers, are all over the R&D tax credit, but thre are special advantages that SMEs have that re denied to big companies. Specifically the paybacks are much more generous. So, if it is good for a big company to claim, think how much better it is...