Corporate Blog- Exploring R&D Tax Credits for UK Companies

R&D Tax Credits

In the 21st century, the world is driven by technology and for every nation, it has become vital to make technological advancements to drive economic growth. The UK government acknowledges this fact and thus promotes research and development (R&D) activities. Apart from actively investing in various grants and funding programs, the UK government also offer financial incentives like R&D tax credits to companies investing in such activities to create new processes, products, and sustainable practices. So, if you are an entrepreneur running one such company, it is time to explore these tax credits for UK companies. 

Understanding R&D Tax Credits

Introduced in 2000, this government-backed scheme or financial incentive was initially meant to encourage innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) but was expanded to large companies in 2002. These tax credits facilitate companies to have tax relief on their R&D expenditure, which significantly decreases their overall tax liability and helps them to sustain themselves in the competitive landscape.

These are the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) R&D tax relief and R&D expenditure credit (RDEC) that depend on the company size and other circumstances.

Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) R&D tax relief

The SME can claim this tax relief if it employs less than 500 employees and has a turnover of less than 100 million euros. It can also claim this tax relief if it has a balance sheet of less than 86 million euros. 

If the SME is applying for this tax relief for the first time, it can become eligible to avail of advance assurance, a guarantee that its claim for R&D tax relief will get accepted by the HMRC. 

R&D expenditure credit (RDEC)

This is for large enterprises that are engaged in R&D projects. It must be noted that SMEs can also claim this tax credit if they have been subcontracted to do research and development activities by a large enterprise and are not eligible to apply for small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) R&D tax relief. 

Recently, the R&D scheme has undergone some changes. As a result, large enterprises claiming tax relief under RDEC can now avail of tax credits at an increased rate from 1 April 2023. So instead of getting a credit rate of 13%, they will now receive a credit rate of 20%. Moreover, there are also now some changes in the submission process for claiming these tax credits. 

In a nutshell, R&D tax credits help to create the right conditions for innovation and technological advancement within UK companies. However, UK businesses need to be really well aware of how to make the most of these R&D tax credits as the application process has its own set of complexities. It is essential to remain updated about any changes by the HMRC that can have direct or indirect impact on these tax credits. It is best to seek professional advice to make sure your benefits are maximized.