Looking for funding to help your R&D budget? Maybe you are missing out on an easy to access funding source that recognises what you have already done, and provides you with the cash to do more of it.
Many business taxpayers believe that they have to be advanced research scientists inventing something completely new or developing state-of- the-art cutting-edge technology to qualify for the Research and Development Tax Credit.
Or they think they have to be doing “research” in dedicated laboratories.
These efforts do qualify, but there are many other activities that also qualify. The tax definition of “research and development” is really very broad. You do not need a dedicated R&D department or laboratory, and it is not restricted to biotech, semiconductor, or similar “high-tech” companies in order for your projects to be eligible for R&D tax credits.
Most businesses across a wide range of industry types are routinely involved in activities to refine, develop or improve their products and processes to stay in the game (or ahead of it), and thus potentially qualify for the funds.
Regardless of the nature of a specific project, as long as qualified research and development activities are being performed, there is an opportunity to put in a claim for R&D tax credits.
This incentive applies to many businesses, of which a significant number are in manufacturing. Software or technology companies, as well as architectural and many other types of firms, if they have taken on the economic risk for the project and have met the retention of rights requirements, can qualify.
Smaller businesses can qualify for the credit as well as large companies. Many taxpayers have claimed many thousands of pounds of tax credits for their qualified research expenditures. Qualified research expenditures include costs associated with time spent, materials used and certain specific overheads.
The research and development tax credit is available for businesses developing new or improved products. It also can apply to:
- Research aimed at discovering new knowledge
- Searching for ways to apply new research findings
- Engineering and designing a new product
- Designing product alternatives
- Significantly modifying of the concept or design of a product in a novel way
- Testing innovative designs
- Designing, constructing and testing preproduction prototypes and models
- Experimenting with new material and integrating the material to improve manufactured products
- Engineering activity to advance the product’s design to the point of manufacture
- Integration analysis
- Experimenting with new technologies
- Engineering to evaluate new or improved specification/modifications in terms of performance, reliability, quality and durability
- Developing and modifying research methods /formulations /products
- Research aimed to significantly cut a product’s time-to-market
- Research aimed to obtain more efficient designs
- Developing new production processes during prototyping and preproduction phases
- Paying outside consultants/contractors to do any of the above activities
Are you doing things that can be claimed? Here’s how to see. Ask yourself these three questions.
- Do you develop innovative products or services?
- Do you use science and technology to do it?
- Is there an element of uncertainty about the outcome of your endeavours?
If you answer “yes”, or “probably”, to these three questions, get in touch with us as soon as possible. A short discussion can help you determine whether you are eligible for the tax credit and provide you with an estimate of how much the credit will be.
You can then decide if the benefits of the tax credit are worth the documentation requirements needed to sustain the credit. Generally, our clients find that the return on the relatively small amount of time spent is well worth the effort.
To claim the credit, you must clearly establish that the R&D meets the HMRC regulations and that the expenses have been correctly captured and reported. That’s where an expert’s assistance helps.
Oh, and I almost forgot. We can go back over the last two closed years as well.