Finding the right funding can be a challenge – if it’s dilutive, there’s the investor dance, and giving up your company’s equity. Most forms of non-dilutive funding still mean making trade-offs or compromises. Non-dilutive debt is a risk and can be stressful, and applying for a grant is time-consuming and competitive.  

And until relatively recently, you could be forgiven for relegating R&D tax credits to the too-hard basket. But now that’s a huge mistake.     

It’s a huge opportunity 

Any UK limited company can apply for R&D tax credits, regardless of industry. As long as you’ve invested in R&D, you have a good chance of benefiting from this lucrative government incentive, which can give you up to 33% of your overall R&D costs. 

The scheme is growing in popularity year on year and helping businesses across the whole of the UK. The latest average claim value figures published are: 

  • £57,330 for SMEs 
  • £317,829 for larger businesses

(To find out if you’re eligible to claim, here’s a crash course on HMRC’s eligibility guidelines.) 

The scheme is evolving to meet modern business demands 

The government is also beginning to acknowledge the areas of R&D in which businesses need to invest, with cloud computing, data, and pure mathematics being added as qualifying R&D expenditures from 2023. 

‘HMRC is now acknowledging that many modern businesses tackle R&D through investment in the use of specific technologies. We’ve been advocating for these added qualifying expenditures, and it’s wonderful to see them implemented,” says Hari Sandhu, CEO at R&D claims specialist EmpowerRD.

‘This will help the UK continue to invest in innovation, particularly through use of Artificial Intelligence, quantum computing and robotics.’ 

R&D claims don’t have to be hard anymore 

For many tech-driven businesses, the conventional claim procedure feels antiquated and creates a major barrier. Traditional advisors who rely on labour-intensive methods like in-person interviews and email chains drain your team’s time. And some are deliberately opaque about the claims process merely to justify their high costs. 

As an innovative business, why would you want to be saddled with old-fashioned approaches and processes? 

The good news is that you now have options. It’s possible to combine technology and specialist expertise to create a streamlined process that’s efficient, as well as effective. Choose the right solution and you get full transparency: see your data and technical narrative, as well as what’s happening with your claim at every step of the process. 

Furthermore, by choosing a more innovative specialist provider, your pace and ways of working are much more likely to be aligned. If you’re using software to collaborate in every other area of your business, for example, why should your R&D claim be any different?  

‘’Claiming R&D tax credits doesn’t have to be hard anymore,’ says Hari. ‘Stop putting up with a poor claim experience, and choose an R&D specialist that delivers not only an optimised claim, but an optimised way of working.”