Four projects that could qualify for R&D (that might surprise you)

Tuesday, 13th June 2017


It’s estimated that 97% of SMEs are missing out on R&D tax credits, despite being eligible for the relief. If you think your business doesn’t do R&D, take a look at these surprising activities that could qualify for R&D tax credits:

Improving sustainability

Whether it’s cutting down waste, reducing energy usage or replacing a production material with a more environmentally friendly version, improving sustainability can generate a huge amount of eligible R&D expenditure. Yet so many businesses miss out, as it is easily overlooked. Take at a look at our feature on Closing the Loop: Recycling and R&D to see how businesses are generating R&D through sustainability.

Making a process more efficient

Perhaps a member of your team has identified part of your process that could be improved upon, to either cut costs, reduce timescales or lessen environmental impact. The research and development that surrounds this one, small change could be eligible for R&D.

Failed development projects    

Your R&D project doesn’t need to succeed to be eligible for tax credits. Development projects that don’t make it past the prototype stage, or an idea that, after significant research, fails to reach a viable solution, still generate costs for your business. R&D tax credits are there to encourage innovation: by allowing you to recoup some of that lost expenditure, you can continue researching and developing new ideas.


If you have had to change an aspect of your business to respond to a new regulation or industry guideline, there is a strong chance you will have had to undertake research and development. Whether you needed to develop a compliable solution or change your existing procedures to incorporate a recommended solution, there could be qualifying eligible expenditure hidden in that activity.

You can make an R&D claim up to two financial years after relevant activity has taken place. Remember, finding hidden R&D is all about asking the right questions. Call us on 01926 512 475 to speak to one of our experienced consultants.