R&D Explained

Successful claims require an in-depth understanding of the complexities of the claims process. At Cowgills we’ve a proven track record in delivering successful claims for our clients.

R&D Explained

If you’ve invested in R&D, or if you aren’t sure if what you’ve done is R&D, we can identify whether you’re entitled to tax relief. We are experts in R&D tax claims, with over 13 years’ experience in submitting successful claims.

For many businesses, R&D is a big financial commitment with potentially huge rewards – giving a valuable advantage over your competitors. In many cases, businesses don’t realise they are doing R&D; they just see it as improving the way they work.

What is R&D tax relief?

R&D tax relief is a government initiative that allows companies which are subject to UK Corporation Tax to claim back a portion of their tax liability in relation to money they have spent on areas of their work which can be classed as research and development.

An increasing number of companies around the UK are becoming aware of their potential to claim R&D tax relief. A successful claim will be dependent on your ability to gather evidence of your R&D activities and then present this in a suitable format to meet the relevant qualifying R&D tax relief criteria.

Eligibility/Who can claim?

Any company in the UK can potentially make an R&D claim providing it is undertaking qualifying activity. 71% of claims currently come from businesses in three sectors.

Frequently asked questions

What is R&D tax relief?

Research and development (R&D) tax relief was introduced in 2000 as a way of rewarding businesses that were investing in research and development. The tax credits allow companies that incur costs whilst developing new products, processes or services to claim the rebate as a cash payment or tax deduction (depending on your circumstances).

Across the UK, the average SME claim is approximately £55,000* – therefore a great source of funding for many businesses. Find out more over on our R&D tax claims page.

My accountant thinks I may not be eligible, and hasn’t entered an R&D claim – is this right?

Whilst your accountant may think this, it is often worth getting a second opinion – we have worked with many clients who were advised that their business would not meet the criteria, and have then received successful R&D claims from HMRC.

It is through our specialist experience in this field that we are able to spot opportunities for claims that may have previously been missed. Similarly, we have also completed retrospective claims for businesses whereby their previous claims weren’t maximised.

Can I claim if our R&D is done by other people?

If you use specialist subcontractors to assist in particular phases of the R&D activities, you may be able to claim a proportion of these costs back under HMRC’s criteria.

Our expert R&D claims team can help you to explore exactly which of your activities will qualify depending on what they are and who they were carried out by.

My business didn’t keep detailed records of R&D time and costs during the project – are we still able to claim?

Firstly, our team will review the evidence you have, and assess whether it meets the criteria set out by HMRC. If you have not submitted a claim before, they can sometimes be more lenient towards this issue.

We can discuss a potential R&D tax relief claim based on a “reasonable assessment” for time estimates relating to any qualifying activities we can identify.

Is my business too small to claim?

If your business is liable for corporation tax then you could be eligible for a claim – in fact the scheme for SMEs is more generous than for large companies – find out more about the two schemes on our 'Make a Claim' page,

Can I claim for a project that failed?

Absolutely – the Government introduced R&D tax relief as a way of rewarding innovation, not just success, therefore within their criteria they do allow for unsuccessful projects to be claimed for.

If you have an unsuccessful project you can still make a claim up to the point where you consider the development failed and was aborted. We can determine which projects can be included in your claim.

How long does an R&D tax claim take?

The length of time an R&D tax claim will take is dependent on a number of different factors, including the complexity of the claim and the level of qualifying activity.

As a rule of thumb, HMRC aims to process claims within 28 days of receiving the necessary paperwork. Using a specialist can greatly speed up the processes as it reduces the amount of queries from HMRC, which can delay a claim.

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.

Make a claim

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