Are you missing out on R&D tax credits?

20 September 2016

The latest statistics from HMRC show companies are increasingly turning to Research & Development (R&D) tax credits to help fund R&D activities. Just as a reminder of what this is all about, companies that are engaged in qualifying R&D activities can claim tax reliefs or credits on the cost of these activities. SME UK businesses can receive up to £33 of additional cash support for every £100 of qualifying R&D costs, and for large UK companies a cash incentive of up to £9 for every £100 of R&D spend.  

The statistics published in September 2016 show the number of claimants have increased by over one third in the 2 year period from 2013 to 2015. This is mainly driven by the number of small and medium sized enterprise (SME) claimants but also shows increases in large company claims as a result of the new large company R&D Expenditure Credit. This suggests that the various improvements to the R&D credits system introduced over recent years are attracting more claimants.  

According to the statistics, R&D claims were used to support nearly £20bn of R&D in 2014/15, an increase of nearly 50% from 2 years earlier. The figures show that the UK Government invested £2.45bn in the year on R&D reliefs to support UK business, which is an increase of over £1bn from 2 years earlier. This reflects the more generous rates of relief now available, the ability for large loss making companies to obtain a cash benefit, together with the increase in claimant companies.  

Over 20,000 companies made claims in 2014/15, the highest since the scheme began in 2000-01, but this still means that the majority of UK businesses are not claiming. While there has been a noticeable increase in first time applicants, many start-ups and small businesses are missing out as they are not aware of the R&D tax credit regime, incorrectly believe they don’t qualify or find it too hard to claim. To make it easier for businesses to check if they are eligible and claim R&D credits, PwC has launched the UK’s first online tool Nifty R&D (, which significantly reduces the time and cost to businesses of preparing claims.  

Find out what your benefit could be using our calculator, visit or emails us at for more information.

Rachel Moore


p: +44 (0)1223 55 2276



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