Figuring out if you or your company is eligible for Research and Development tax credits (R&D) can sometimes be a difficult task to undertake. For people who are not aware of the many processes that make up the assessment of eligibility, the entire notion can seem very complicated and daunting. To try and assist you with this, we’re taking a look at what makes the correct recipient for research and development tax credits.

R&D tax credits – an overview

Before we look at how to identify if you qualify for the tax credits, we’ll first briefly summarise what they are. If you are a company or organisation which spends money on creating and developing new projects and services, then you probably qualify for research and development tax credits. These tax credits amount to around 33p for every £1 that you have spent and are sometimes used as an alternative to innovation grants for research funding. The total you may be owed will depend on a number of different factors which are included in our free research and development tax calculator.

Who is eligible for these tax credits?

Now we’ve given an overview of what research and development tax credits are; we’ll now look at who qualifies for them. The criteria for research and development tax credits is deliberately quite broad and usually applies to anyone who is attempting to resolve ‘scientific and technological uncertainties’. So anyone who is creating a new service or product within a limited company is eligible to be a recipient of these tax credits, as well as anyone who is trying to modify or improve upon an existing set of services or products. Under the R and D umbrella sits varying grants and funding like video games tax relief and patent box. You can learn more about the options open to you in our free research and development guides.

To look at it another way, there are some questions you can ask yourself to try and ascertain if you are in fact, qualified for these tax credits. If you are unsure if your project or product is possible from either a scientific or technological perspective, or you’re not even sure how to put into practice outside of a theory, you could very well be meeting the criteria required for these tax credits. It is also worth noting that even within the standards for research and development, there is no rule which states the project has even to be successful to qualify for the tax credits. As well as this, you can also include work which you did for a client alongside your projects when applying.

Overall, the companies that can qualify for this particular tax credit are those who are conducting research which may not even be possible from a technological standpoint. Research and development tax credits are designed to be able to assist companies who are trying to do something new and theoretically groundbreaking, and there is a comprehensive set of criteria for what constitutes as being accepted for R&D. This means that many more people can meet the standards, in the hope that someone will eventually produce something revolutionary, so it’s well worth checking if you meet the checklist for being able to claim research and development tax credits.


Jamie Smith