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What doesn’t count as R&D?

The government wants to encourage new innovations and outside-the-box thinking. So, if you have a carbon copy of existing products, services, devices or processes, it won’t qualify for R&D. Nevertheless, activities aimed at achieving specific cosmetic or aesthetic effects using technology can still be eligible for qualification.

Sometimes people find it easier to understand what qualifies for R&D by looking at what wouldn’t count. 

Firstly, HMRC defines science in a precise way which, for R&D Tax credit purposes, doesn’t include:

  • Social sciences
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Economics
  • Pure Mathematics

Additionally, the following activities cannot be counted as seeking advancement in the fields of Science and Technology:

  • Routine analysis
  • Adaptation of a product
  • Complete copying of a product

For many, deciding if a project qualifies is a difficult area. This is where the team at Alexander Clifford can help because we are able to ensure we include what is needed and disregard what is not to optimise your application and ensure it is safe.

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