Specialist R&D Tax & Grant Funding Advisors

How Far Back Can I Claim R&D Tax Credits?

R&D Tax Credits are a great option for companies to increase their cash flow and fund innovative projects to grow.

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer


3 minute read

The government-backed R&D tax relief scheme offsets some of the costs of eligible research and development (R&D) costs, allowing you to focus on innovation, not the bottom line.

What are R&D Tax Credits?

The scheme was created in 2002 to encourage innovative activity in the UK, stimulating the economy and putting the UK in competition with our high-achieving neighbours. It’s a top incentive for companies who are researching and developing new products, processes or services, allowing up to 33.35% of a company’s R&D costs to be recovered in either a cash repayment or in a reduction in Corporation Tax.

How far back can I claim?

R&D Tax Credits can be claimed up to two years after the end of the accounting period during which the innovative activities took place. Companies generally apply for tax credits along with their annual tax return. However, as HMRC allows up to two years to pass, there’s plenty of time during which an application can be submitted.

For example...

Let’s imagine a company conducted eligible R&D work between January and July in 2018, and that its financial year ended 1st September. In this case, the company’s application deadline for these costs would be 1st September 2020.

This claim could be submitted directly when filing the Corporation Tax return or through an amendment to the return later.

What if I’ve already filed?

You can apply for R&D Tax Credits even if you have already filed your Corporation Tax return (CT600) for the financial year during which the R&D costs were incurred. So long as you submit your claim within two years from the end of the accounting period, all that is required is an amendment to the CT600.

We recommend companies make an application for R&D Tax Credits via an amendment of their CT600. It’s a handy shortcut because it speeds up HMRC’s processing time. This is because the filing is rerouted straight to an HMRC R&D specialist who will have a better understanding of your application, rather than going to someone at HMRC who may not have this specialism.

What projects are eligible for R&D Tax Relief?

Your company can claim R&D Tax Relief if you are pursuing an advance or appreciable improvement in science and/or technology. If a competent professional in the field was challenged with technological or scientific uncertainties, or the solution was not immediately apparent and required research to solve, then you will likely qualify for R&D Tax Credits.

It doesn’t matter if your project ultimately failed either; it’s more likely to qualify than a project which had guaranteed success. Essentially, the feasibility of your project and its outcome should not be easily deducible by a competent professional, or someone who has experience working in the specific field. HMRC is clear on their understanding of uncertainty; tinkering with an existing idea, product or process and routine maintenance and updating will not count towards R&D Tax Credits. Marketing and cosmetic fine-tuning are equally not qualifying expenditure.

Eligibility can be a fickle route to walk down, so we advise getting in touch with R&D tax specialists, such as ourselves, to ascertain the eligibility of your project. We can support your claim from start to submission, answer all your questions regarding eligibility and give you the best chance of success as well as a maximised claim.

What costs can I claim for?

R&D tax relief applies to specific everyday operational costs. Fixed assets, like buildings and land, will not qualify for an R&D tax claim but may be eligible for capital allowances.

Generally, the costs you can claim for are:

  • Staffing costs
  • Subcontracted R&D
  • Externally Provided Workers (EPWs)
  • Consumables
  • Payments to volunteers for clinical trials
  • Some types of software

Maximise your claim with Myriad Associates

Eligibility criteria and the red tape around dates and types of projects can make the application process a daunting prospect. There are plenty of hoops to jump through that many claimant's miss without the guidance of an expert R&D tax specialist, like Myriad Associates. Errors can be costly and stressful; that’s why we don’t make them. We have a proven success rate, spanning 20 years, and there’s little we don’t know about innovation funding.

Get in touch by calling 0207 118 6045 or use our contact form, where one of our friendly staff will advise you on the best way to proceed with your R&D tax claim.

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Please contact us to discuss how working with Myriad Associates can maximise and secure R&D funding opportunities for your business.

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