At RSM we try and help clients to maximise R&D tax relief claims. One of the first things that we quite often hear when we talk to a company about making a claim is that they have not invented a brand new product and therefore they don't think they can make a claim.
What companies need to bear in mind is that to be able to make a claim for research and development tax relief, it doesn't have to be a brand new product that they're looking to launch. There has to be an advance in the field of science or technology, but that can simply be taking the existing product and looking to improve that in some way and relaunching it.
An example of a successful claim we helped a company make was for a manufacturing company that made face creams and body washes for high street brands. One of the face scrubs that they made had microbeads in it which have been found to not be very environmentally friendly, because they don't biodegrade. So what they did was they set about looking for a replacement. They conducted lots of testing and looked at different options to not only make sure that it was biodegradable but also that it didn't deteriorate. They've now relaunched the product but to the consumer it probably feels and looks like the exact same product.
Throughout the whole testing process R&D has been taking place which enabled them to make a successful claim. If your company has products that's always looking to continually improve to keep ahead of the market then really challenge yourself to see whether you can make a successful R&D tax claim.