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R&D (Research and Development) tax credits

Get rewarded for your innovation

R&D tax credits are a tax incentive (in the form of a cash payment) from the UK government. They are designed to encourage companies to invest in research and development.

This scheme lets you claim back tax as a proportion of your R&D expenditure. There are two types of R&D tax credit:

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) R&D tax relief
You can claim up to 33p for every £1 spent on R&D if you have no more than 500 employees and meet the maximum turnover or balance sheet criteria credit.

Research and Development Expenditure Credit
If you’re a larger company (or you’ve been subcontracted do R&D work by a large company) you can claim an RDEC tax credit worth 12% of your qualifying R&D expenditure.

If you’re a limited company and you want to research or develop an advance in your field you might be able to apply for R&D tax relief. For all R&D tax credits, you must be able to explain to HMRC how:

  • you looked for an advance in science and technology
  • you had to overcome uncertainty
  • you tried to overcome this uncertainty
  • your advance could not be easily worked out by a professional in the field.

Swoop can help you navigate the entire process, and maximise the possibility of your application being successful. R&D projects must be in science or technology, but HMRC’s definition is broad and includes investment into technology and IT systems. We have helped software developers, architects and many other professions successfully claim R&D tax relief as a result of this tax incentive. You can even claim on unsuccessful projects – or if your business is running at a loss.

You can apply for R&D tax credits in conjunction with grants. R&D tax credits are a retrospective tax relief that you claim after you’ve begun your research and development. Grants, by contrast, are up-front funding for which you have to pitch.

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