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What is R&D Tax Relief?

Some companies in the UK are eligible to claim tax relief for certain costs they have incurred in relation to research and development, often abbreviated to R&D.

R&D tax relief is a Government scheme designed to incentivise companies to invest in R&D. At present, over 35,000 UK companies are claiming more than £3bn combined in tax relief each year.

What is R&D Tax Relief?

Is my company eligible to claim Research & Development Tax Relief?

In order to determine whether a company qualifies to make an R&D tax relief claim, we need you to consider three simple questions. If the answer to all three is yes, you will likely qualify.

Don’t worry if you don’t know the answers as we’re here to help and make the whole process as simple as possible.

Are you subject to UK Corporation Tax?
Have you carried out innovative activities in your specific sector?

The types of activities which HMRC see as qualifying for R&D tax relief purposes can broadly be broken down as development work in relation to: 

  • New developments i.e. a product, process or system which is completely new to the market and never been seen before
  • Appreciable improvement/enhancement i.e. a product, process or system that may already be in the market, however it has been enhanced into something which exceeds current industry knowledge 

Have you incurred any costs whilst undertaking these activities?

How much can you claim back?

We are ideally equipped to help companies in the UK to claim back R&D tax relief. The amount a company can claim back is determined by a number of factors, but broadly:

  • A company eligible to claim under the SME scheme could claim between 18.6% to 33.4% depending on when its projects were undertaken
  • A company eligible to claim under the RDEC scheme could claim between 10.5% to 16.2% depending on when its projects were undertaken
  • A company eligible to claim under the new merged scheme could claim between 14.7% to 16.2% for accounting period starting from April 1st 2024
Cowgills has made it easy for us to make use of R&D tax relief

James Robinson, COO, adi.tv

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Why is it important to use an R&D tax credit specialist?

It's important to handle R&D tax relief claims with diligence and competency. We ensure our clients’ claims are prepared by trusted experts who work with the relevant company to assess qualifying R&D activities and determine the potentially qualifying costs incurred.

Additionally, we recommend using a specialist because in the worst possible scenario, companies who entrust their claim to somebody who is careless, hasty or even dishonest in their process leave themselves open to having their claim dismissed entirely.

Concern over abuse and boundary pushing involving R&D tax reliefs has grown in recent years. Any scheme that provides financial support for large numbers of claimants contains an inherent risk. It is therefore, considered good practice to take appropriate professional advice.

Proven Experience

We have many years of experience preparing R&D claims for clients.

Trusted Experts

We operate as part of a full-service accountancy firm, cementing our knowledge across all services and sectors.

Honest & Diligent

Our clients stay with us long-term, comforted by our transparency and delivery.

Our experts prepare R&D claims upon consideration of the latest BEIS guidelines (2004 / 2010), DSIT guidelines (2023), relevant legislation and HMRC manuals.

If you want to determine whether your business is eligible, get in touch with one of our experts today.

Claim Line: 01204 414 243

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Success Stories

We appreciate that many companies looking into an R&D tax claim will want to assess our expertise.
With this in mind, here are some examples of R&D claim services we have provided to other companies.

Jon Matthews Architects Ltd

R&D claims equaling £40k per annum

Cowgills have been our trusted R&D advisors for a number of years and have assisted us with making claims which has always been an efficient and simple process. James, Dominic and Claudia hosted a large meeting with the Company’s specialists to ensure they understand the criteria for qualifying R&D and effectively log/record the work carried out. This has been extremely useful and allowed us to maximise the claims as much as possible.


LED and content services supplier to the Sports and Entertainment Industries

ADI has developed an excellent relationship with the Cowgills' R&D team over several years. The business has an ongoing commitment to R&D and Innovation supporting the development of our products and services we offer our customers. We have regular meetings when it comes to preparing our R&D tax relief claim to discuss the projects we have undertaken and activities involved during the development process. Cowgills support has been invaluable throughout the R&D rebate process, providing clear guidance and support as required and excellent communication clearly. They have often highlighted areas where we qualify for support that we were not aware of.

Lily Communications Ltd

Business communications and I.T. solutions

We discussed the Company’s activities with Cowgills in February 2021 and they have since assisted us with preparing robust and thorough R&D claims, ensuring that up-to-date guidance is taken in to consideration. They have also supported us with the write-up of thorough summaries of the projects undertaken to justify the claims to HMRC, which has made the process as simple as possible.

Making an R&D tax relief claim is a straight forward process with Cowgills R&D team

We will make an assessment based on the projects you’ve undertaken whether you’re eligible for a claim. These projects could include innovation or appreciable improvements to current products, processes, systems or software.

No matter the project, we offer frank and transparent guidance that you can trust.

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