Do you qualify for a Research and Development tax claim?

Don’t immediately say no because you’re not a rocket scientist.  Business owners often miss this valuable Research and Development (R&D) tax break when they are actually entitled to it for their business activities, simply because they’re not aware of it or they think they won’t qualify for this specific tax relief.

In fact, you may be able to get an enhanced deduction of 130% of your R&D qualifying expenditure. Even loss-making companies can, in certain circumstances, surrender their losses in return for a payable tax credit of 14.5% from HMRC.

And you genuinely don’t have to be an astrophysicist to claim it!

Just as it says on the tin, if you’re researching or developing an innovative  product or an advance in your field, R&D is a tax benefit you may be able to claim.  And it doesn’t have to be your main business – something you do within it may qualify.

Believe it or not, you can even claim it for a project that’s been unsuccessful. And, as an added bonus, you may be able to claim Corporation Tax relief too!

There are different types of R&D relief depending on the size of your company and whether or not the project has been subcontracted to you – don’t worry – we’ll help you work out the correct amount.

Examples of successful R&D claims

  • As an example, one of our clients manufactures ink, and we claim a proportion of all their staff costs relating to the lab for certain types of inks they produce.
  • A civil engineering contractor was able to claim for work on a university campus because the project changed mid-way, meaning more research was needed to complete the work.
  • A FinTech company has used data to create an online platform that recognises people’s identities through voice and face recognition software.
  • A firm of architects designed a sports facility with a “floating floor” to enable a warm climate had to co-exist with a cold one.
  • A company has designed a way for chocolate products to be movable – such as chocolate cars with wheels that turn.

What counts as R&D?

  1. Firstly, to qualify for R&D relief, your work must be part of a specific project to make an advance in science or technology. You can’t claim this tax benefit for something that’s classed as a social science, like economics, or anything in a theoretical field, such as pure maths.
  2. The project must relate to your company’s trade – either an existing one, or one that you intend to start up based on the results of your research.
  3. Your project may research or develop a new process, product or service – or it can improve on an existing one – like the ink our client produces.
  4. Your project must aim to create an advance in the overall field, not just for your business. So it can’t be a case of you using an existing technology for the first time in your specific sector.
  5. The process, product or service you’re developing can still be counted as an advance if it’s been developed by another company but isn’t publicly known about or available to buy.

Let’s see if you qualify…

  1. Do you undertake any projects which require you to resolve a technical issue or uncertainty?
  2. Does the uncertainty you need to overcome require you to fund a resource dedicated to the project or invest time and money?
  3. Do you have a USP which may take several attempts to get right – if it is at all solvable?
  4. Are you ‘re-inventing the wheel’ in any of your activities by using new materials or a different approach?
  5. Do you have to write special programs, or operate systems or algorithms to integrate systems and solve a problem?
  6. Have you undertaken a project to significantly improve an existing product beyond the current state of knowledge in your field or the industry standard?

If you have answered YES to any of these questions, you may be able to claim R&D.

Here are some examples of projects that usually qualify:

  • Manufacturing – Improving a manufacturing process in terms of speeding the processing times or reducing wastage
  • Architecture – Creating ‘appreciably improved designs’ for eco-homes, getting around site constraints or using new materials
  • Construction – Developing new and improved construction materials or methods
  • Software development – Creating a new version of a software product, updated platform integration, or bolt-ons
  • Restaurant – Developing improved cooking processes
  • Food manufacture – Developing an improved system for adding water to meat products, improving processes for packaging, shelf life or seasonality
  • Brewing/distilling – Improving the process.

Here at Nordens we’re completely clued up on all the relevant features of this tax credit to make sure you benefit from it fully.  We’ll support you throughout your claim and ensure your finances for the project are allocated in the most tax-efficient way.

Beyond Accountancy

At Nordens, we're more than just accountants - we're business experts who can help you achieve your biggest goals.

Nordens Strategic

Our specialist strategic division at Nordens boasts some of the leading entrepreneurial business minds in the country. We cater towards delivering consistent success stories, whilst helping businesses achieve above and beyond their initial goals.

Through highly-tailored guidance, coaching and advice, Nordens Strategic are able to define exactly how your business can reach new levels of success.

Regardless of how you define ‘success’ for your business, our strategic service is guaranteed to bring about real and lasting change. By partnering with some of the UK’s top business coaches, we’ll steer you along the path to a greater future.

Accounting 2 You

Every business, no matter how big or small, needs to make the right decisions, and how to best manage your accounts can put huge question marks over your business. Accounting2You is here to take that pressure off and provide you with all the answers you need.

Our bookkeeping branch offers a fully inclusive, comprehensive service that you can trust. Since 2005, our specialist bookkeepers have been successfully managing the accounting of both individuals and small businesses.

With experts in payroll analysis, credit control and financial recording, Accounting2You will lead your business efficiently, and with real purpose, towards a prosperous future.

Voted as EXCELLENT - 9.9 out of 10 based on 167 reviews

Chris Dyer

Director - Metro Bank

Nordens are always very easy to deal with and extremely professional and efficient. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to my clients for their accountancy needs, no matter how complex they may be.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Jamie Brown

Co-Founder - Chicmi Limited

Very good to work with - the team go above and beyond to make the accounts easy and efficient. They're all super friendly and a joy to work with.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Simon Rose

Director - Rose Opticians

I have been using Nordens Chartered Accountants for 5 years and very happy with the service provided. All members of the team are very knowledgeable and have a wealth of experience which has proved very beneficial to my organisation

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Rebecca Bossick

Founder & Director - Physio LDN

Very easy to contact and put me in touch with the right person whenever I need to ask any questions. Extremely knowledgeable and can help me manage my various businesses whenever I need.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

James Aconley

Principal - Pauline Quirke Academy

Great accountants, always available to offer advice. The team have transformed my business.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Christopher Wilce

Founder - Dataphone

Having worked with Nordens over the last 5 years, not only to look after my annual accounts but they have also provided outstanding professional advice. They have guided me through a Company share buyback with clear and objective advice. We have also been using Nordens strategic services for a couple of years, which has helped bring about significant improvements that exceeded my expectations. With experience of working with several local accountants over my 29 years in business, I’m very pleased with the service I have received from Nordens.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Dave Hodges

Director - Linekers

Trusted our business with Nordens for over 10 years now and watched the company grow into the successful innovative business it has become today. Deservedly so. Every aspect of financial advice we need is always given promptly and with a smile. We have total confidence in all aspects of advice Nordens give. If you are looking for accountants, its a no brainer!

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Tony Charles

Founder - Foundation Sports Limited

A fantastic, modern, vibrant firm that care about the clients and their staff in abundance. It is rare to find an Accountancy firm with such vibrance and focus and relationships. It is no wonder they win award after award in their field.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Peter Horlock

Managing Director - Prime Time Boilers

I have been with Nordens for many years now and they are a great accountants.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Simon Cushing

Founder - Vivid Finishes

We have used Nordens for the last 5 years and have had a great service throughout. The guys are very passionate about what they do and have played a part in the growth of our company, highly recommended.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Andrew Martin

Managing Director - AMD Interior Architecture

Great Service at Nordens from a friendly very approachable team Particularly Kirsty Willis and Joe Sword who have been helping us since we started the business in 2016.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

James Robinson

Director - Forma London

Nordens provide a first class service. We moved to Nordens last year and have been impressed with the level of service provided. Keep up the good work!

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Latest News

We've always got our ears to the ground when it comes to interesting, useful and topical information relating to business and accountancy.

Changes To National Insurance…
National Insurance is the bedrock of the state system, basically a tax on all earnings and self-employed profits from an individual. National Insurance Contributions (NICs) can be a confusing and complex situation for many, not...
Do You Need An…
We can all understand that the sharing or sale of an asset can be a complex process, especially when this isn’t done in the most amicable of situations. In order to make sure the process is as fair and unbiased as possible, an ...
Nordens TV

We love making videos that break down convoluted accountancy jargon into plain-talking, actionable and accessible facts.

Tax On Cryptocurrency? –…
I’m sure plenty of you have heard of cryptocurrency, especially the popular variants of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Cardano to name but a few. In fact, there’s thousands of different coins and tokens in circulation, with ne...
10 Easy Ways To…
Growing your business can often be an overwhelming and complex task, however by simply following some key guidelines you’ll place yourself in the best position to advance and cultivate success. Check out our Top 10 ways to grow...
  Why I Founded Nordens
Accounting 2 You

In November 2002, having sold our other business interests off earlier in the year, I decided to set up Nordens Chartered Accountants. The easy part was knowing how to do it, as I had established and built a smaller practice a few years earlier. The difficult part, for me, was not following the traditional accountancy path. Having run businesses, both successfully and unsuccessfully, I wanted to help business owners resolve their short term problems and work with them to achieve their longer term goals. Business has always been my interest and I love that I can help business owners achieve what seems like the impossible every single working day.

Mark Norden Signature

Mark Norden

We're Professionally Certified

Our limited company accountants have a range of qualifications from The Institute Of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). We worry about the bye-laws, regulations and ethical guidelines of the ACCA so you don’t have to! That makes us an ACCA-accredited employer as well as a Professional Passport-accredited one!