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A Complete List of R&D Tax Incentives 2021

The Research and Development Tax Relief (R&D Tax Relief) scheme provides tax relief for companies that are carrying out qualifying research and development (R&D) activities. The then Labour government introduced R&D tax incentives in 2000. Over the years, it has been expanded to include several other areas.

The Research and Development Tax Relief (R&D Tax Relief) scheme provides tax relief for companies that are carrying out qualifying research and development (R&D) activities. The then Labour government introduced R&D tax incentives in 2000. Over the years, it has been expanded to include several other areas.

The relief was designed to encourage and stimulate companies to engage in R&D activities, which would ultimately help them to develop new and improved products and services.

Understanding R&D tax incentives involves understanding what defines R&D, and what constitutes R&D activities and expenditure. This isn't an easy task, as the rules and regulations governing this relief can be quite complex. Our aim will be to help you understand these rules and regulations and to provide you with a comprehensive list of all relevant R&D tax reliefs currently available.

This list contains details of all current R&D tax reliefs in force and includes information on the relevant legislation. It also includes links to relevant articles and services that help you understand the reliefs and how to take advantage of them.

What are R&D Tax Incentives?

R&D tax reliefs are reliefs that can be claimed by companies undertaking research and development activities in the UK. The objective of R&D tax incentives is to encourage investment within the R&D sector and to help offset the costs associated with developing new products.

In simpler terms, they are a tax credit for companies that develop new products or new ways of doing things. The idea is that the benefits of this research will eventually be passed on to customers and boost the economy.

Many companies across many sectors undertake R&D activities to improve their products and services or to develop new products and services. However, some companies may not undertake R&D activities, but may still be able to claim R&D tax credits.

There are many reasons why a company may want to claim R&D tax relief. The most common reasons are:

  • A reduction in tax payable. The company can claim back a percentage of the money it has spent on R&D.
  • A reduction in taxable profits. The company can reduce the profits it makes from its operations. This means they may pay a lower rate of corporation tax.
  • Relief from paying tax on income. The company can claim a tax deduction for an amount of money that it has spent on R&D.

R&D tax relief is not a cash incentive. The benefit comes in the form of relief from corporation taxes, and the R&D tax relief may be available over a period of up to 4 years. The business will also benefit from the investment in its R&D activity, inventiveness, and invention.

Take Advantage of R&D Tax Credits

R&D tax relief must be claimed within four years of the end of the accounting period in which the expenditure was incurred.

Companies that claim R&D tax relief should ensure that all the R&D activity that they claim is actually eligible for this tax relief. If there is any doubt about the eligibility of the activity, it is best to seek professional advice.

In many cases, it is a good idea to seek the help of a professional accountant, like those at Accountancy Cloud, to help a company claim R&D tax relief. This is especially the case if the company has never claimed R&D tax relief before.

R&D tax relief is not just for businesses that have a large R&D budget. There is also a small R&D tax relief scheme that provides relief for small and medium-sized companies.

It is also important to understand that R&D tax relief can be claimed by any company that is undertaking R&D activity. It doesn’t have to be a company involved in the high-tech or IT industries. Many companies in the retail sector, for example, often undertake R&D activities that are eligible for R&D tax relief.

Startup Boosting

Many startup businesses and companies reduce their tax bill with R&D incentives and credits.

If you are in the process of launching a company, you may qualify for the R&D tax credit, and you may be able to reduce your tax liability by receiving the R&D tax credit.

The R&D tax credit is a great way to offset the costs that are associated with product development, especially for startup companies. The tax credit is calculated as a percentage of the money that is spent on research and development. This can be a great way for startups to offset their costs of doing business, and it can encourage other businesses to do more research and development, boosting our economy in the long run.

The tax credit is available for all businesses, but it is not always easy to take advantage of. There are certain restrictions on the amount of money that can be spent on research and development. The restrictions also depend on the type of company and the amount of money that it takes in. It can be a complicated process to figure out if you can take advantage of the credit, which is why it’s recommended to use professional services.

R&D Tax Incentives Credit Eligibility

While the R&D tax relief system is designed to encourage and support innovation and technological development, it’s also available to a wide range of organizations.

Not just limited to the tech industry, this relief is available to companies in all industries, including:

  • Construction
  • Energy
  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare
  • Leisure and Tourism
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional Services
  • Publishing
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Telecommunications
  • More

There are several conditions that you must meet to qualify for R&D tax relief, but you should speak to a reputable tax accountant, like those provided by Accountancy Cloud.

R&D Tax Incentives Criteria

To qualify for R&D tax relief, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a company, business, charity, or public sector body.
  • You must spend over £20,000 in a 12-month period on qualifying R&D activities.
  • You must have fewer than 500 employees.
  • You must use the results of the R&D activities for your own commercial purposes.
  • Your company must have fewer than 5% publicly listed equity shares.
  • You must be registered for tax in the UK.
  • You must be carrying out the R&D activity at a permanent establishment in the UK.

Who are R&D Tax Incentives For?

The R&D tax incentives are for companies that undertake R&D activity in the UK and these companies have to meet certain conditions to be able to claim R&D tax relief. Many companies claim R&D tax relief because it can be a way for businesses to reduce their overall tax bill.

It is also important to remember that R&D tax relief is not just for large companies. Many medium-sized and small businesses also claim this tax relief, as some of their R&D activity may not be eligible for the credit scheme.

These companies typically are:

  • Investing in research and development for the first time.
  • Developing a line of new products or services.
  • Moving into new markets through research and development.
  • Developing a new product or service for export.
  • Developing a new product or process for use in the domestic market.
  • Developing a new manufacturing or processing technique.
  • Developing a new capital equipment process.
  • Developing a new software process.
  • Developing new products.
  • More.

A Company Can Not Claim R&D Tax Credits If:

  • The company is loss-making.
  • The company is a charity.
  • The company is a non-profit organization.
  • The company is a government body.
  • The company is a subsidiary of another company.
  • The company is a partnership.
  • The company is a sole trader.
  • The company is a trust.
  • More.

How to Claim R&D Tax Relief

If a company meets the criteria for R&D tax relief, then it can make a claim over a four-year period. The company's accountants will calculate the amount of R&D tax relief that the company is due to receive, and this then needs to be paid to HMRC by the company. If your company does not have an accountant, we recommend using Accountancy Cloud.

The amount of R&D tax relief that a company can claim is calculated by taking the company's R&D spend over a four-year period and dividing it by the amount of profit that it made over the same period.

A company can only claim R&D tax relief if the company has an ABN and is registered for VAT. A company can also only claim the relief if it is an independent company or a subsidiary of a company that meets the criteria to claim R&D tax relief.

Professional Help is Available

Professional help isn’t just available, it’s encouraged. If this is your first-time claiming R&D credits, or you’re just wanting to learn more about R&D Tax Incentives, you will want to chat with accountants that you can trust.

A professional service can help you determine if the R&D Tax Credit program is right for you, and how to best claim the tax credits you’re eligible to receive.

If your business is forming, or relatively new, our R&D experts here at Accountancy Cloud can help you to understand how to set up the proper accounting for your R&D Tax Credits.

We can also help you to determine if your business qualifies for the R&D Tax Incentive, and even offer ongoing advice on how to keep track of your R&D investments. Our team are excited to help you to get started with the R&D tax incentive program and help you to maximise your R&D tax credits!


R&D tax credits are a major incentive for research and development in the UK. It is a tax break for companies to carry out research and development on new products and services and to try to get them to market. The credit gives a company a reduction in corporation tax they have to pay. The amount of credit a company can get depends on the amount of research and development it has done.

The research must have been done for the purpose of developing new products or services, or for improving existing ones. Companies cannot get the credit for any research that has been done purely to improve the efficiency or effectiveness of production processes.

The company must be able to claim it is satisfying the conditions for the credit. It must also have a corporation tax liability in the accounting period, be carrying on a trade, and have done R&D in the accounting period.

Companies are advised to seek counsel from professional accountants to understand if they are eligible for R&D tax incentives and credits. Contact a friendly and professional team today by scheduling an appointment with Accountancy Cloud here.


Do I Qualify For R&D Tax Incentives?

R&D tax incentives are available to companies that have carried out research and development with the aim of creating new or improved products, or processes. It will typically be expected that the new product or process offers an improvement over existing products or processes.

The qualifying expenditure will need to be for work that has been carried out in the UK. A proportion of the R&D expenditure will also need to be incurred in the UK. For example, if you have a development team that is based in the UK, but the bulk of the expenditure is incurred overseas, then you will not be able to claim R&D tax relief.

How Many Years Of R&D Tax Incentives Can I Claim?

For each accounting period that you are eligible for R&D tax incentives, you can claim both the initial R&D tax relief and the R&D tax credits. The initial R&D tax relief can be claimed up to 5 years after the year that the R&D work was carried out.

What is the R&D Tax Credit Calculation?

R&D tax credit relief is claimed by the company that has incurred the qualifying expenditure on R&D. The amount of tax credit that is due will be calculated on a company-by-company basis and will vary depending on the size of the company. You can contact an expert here to find out more.

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