Research and Development


esearch and Development tax credits are a government incentive to assist businesses involved in innovative projects to reduce their corporation tax liabilities and, if loss making, to receive tax rebates. Specialist advice is required to assess the qualifying expenditure, write the project reports and complete the financial computations. 

Further info

Additional tax reliefs are given for qualifying expenditure incurred by companies in order to encourage businesses to engage in innovative research and development (R&D) projects and ventures.

HMRC R&D tax credits can help many new start businesses by strengthening cash flow and reducing tax liabilities. Established businesses can also utilise R&D facilities when embarking on any kind of innovative project which incurs qualifying expenditure.

How does it work?

  • If the company spends money on “qualifying activities”, enhanced tax relief is available.
  • SMEs can deduct an additional 130% of qualifying expenditure in the tax computation. E.g. if there is qualifying expenditure of £50,000 in the P/L, which will mean a corporation tax deduction of £9,500, this can be enhanced by a further £65,000 meaning an additional tax deduction of £12,350.
  • If the additional deduction creates a loss, the loss may be surrendered in return for a cash payment of 14.5% of the surrendered amount.

Qualifying expenditure is revenue expenditure on a project that seeks to achieve an advancement in science or technology relevant to the company’s trade.

This may sound like white coats and test tubes but it can be applied across almost all sectors.


We have successfully processed R&D claims for projects as diverse as taxi companies implementing new computer systems and pet food companies developing new manufacturing systems.

Qualifying expenditure can include such items as staff costs, contractor costs, materials, fuel, power and software.

I switched to Steedman & Company two years into running my own business as I was suffering from some common new business issues, e.g. credit control, and I liked their no-nonsense approach to tackling problems. They’ve been vital in turning my business into a success and are always one step ahead of me.

Stephen Mathieson Edinburgh

Research and Development Business Consultant UK Steedman