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As an entrepreneur, your brain is likely locked in Innovation Mode permanently.

Generating new ideas, solving problems and finding ways to fill gaps is just in your nature, and they’re things you’re doing on a daily basis without even really thinking about.

Did you know you could be getting paid for your research and development though?

Yes, Research and Development (R&D) tax credit relief has been designed to reimburse those small and medium-sized enterprises looking to make their mark on the science and technology sectors.

Despite a whopping £2.6 billion being claimed in R&D Tax Credits by UK businesses in 2016-2017, there are still plenty of SMEs and start-ups unaware of the relief they could be benefiting from.

This benefit comes in the form of a corporate tax deduction or a cash payment from HMRC, both of which a qualified finance expert will be able to help you claim.

R&D relief aims to help cover the expense of things like the cost of staff time spent on an R&D project, 65% of subcontracted work as part of the project, materials and utilities, and software.

It excludes a few factors such as rent, land, patents and trademarks.

How do I qualify for SME R&D tax relief?

In order to fit the bill, you must be doing one – or a combination of – the following:

You must also be:

Your project must be:

You will also need to be able to demonstrate the following:

SMEs are also able to claim Research and Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC), which is usually exclusive to big businesses, as long as the R&D has been commissioned or subcontracted by a large company.

Did you know?

R&D tax credits can even be claimed on unsuccessful projects.

Your lightbulb moment might have shattered under the pressure, but you may still be eligible for relief on behalf of the research and innovation that went into the developmental process.

See our guide  for more information on how to claim your R&D relief and a more in-depth explanation of how this deduction or cash payment is calculated here.

Alternatively, get in touch with our team of qualified accountants who will be more than happy to explain where they could apply their expertise to help your business.

Call us on 020 3355 4047 or send a message to

About The Author

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible. Learn more about Elizabeth.

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