What do HMRC look for when assessing whether or not a project qualifies as R&D?

HMRC will be looking for R&D which seeks an appreciable advance in an area of science or technology and seeks to overcome scientific uncertainty. A more detailed definition is provided by guidelines from The Department for Business Innovation and Skills which is itself based on the accountancy definition at SSAP 13.

Simply developing a new product is not in itself R&D, there needs to be an element of uncertainty as to why it could not be developed.

This is a complex area to consider and it is worth taking detailed advice before proceeding with a claim.


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