Myth four: R&D tax relief is only for companies that employ people in white coats

The most common misconception made by companies is that R&D tax relief is only restricted to companies that employ people in white coats. While companies involved in pure research are obvious candidates, the tax relief is potentially available to any company that is involved in scientific or technological problem solving.

Many companies across the UK, across a number of sectors experience technical challenges on a daily basis and it is surprising how many companies are undertaking qualifying R&D activities without even recognising it.

HMRC sector analysis for 2014-15 which is the most recent published data reveals that a number of sectors of submitted R&D claims such as manufacturing, construction, retail, health and social work and agriculture. These sectors cover a widespread and diverse range of activities where there are generally no white coats in sight. A recent R&D claim that has been submitted by a company is where they have designed developed and installed a bespoke access and leak ceiling solution to a major construction project in London. The R&D claim has resulted in the cash repayment in excess of £120,000 back to the company.

Businesses should review their activities on a regular basis and examine their suitability for R&D tax incentives, challenge preconceptions and don't assume that your business is not undertaking R&D or that the value of your qualifying spend is too low to warrant a claim.

Download our thought leadership and practical checklist to help guide you through the key questions you need to ask yourself when assessing whether you have a valid R&D claim.