How Far Back Can I Claim R&D Tax Credits?
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How Far Back Can I Claim R&D Tax Credits?

HMRC allows you to apply for R&D Tax Credits up to two years after the end of the accounting period in which your R&D took place. You can do this even if you’ve already filed your corporate tax return.

The R&D Tax Credits scheme is a government benefit that promotes UK innovation by offering tax reliefs and cash credits to companies who’ve performed qualifying research and development.

While you usually apply for tax credits along with your yearly tax return, HMRC allows companies to apply for tax credits retrospectively. 

Up to two years after the end of the financial year in which the R&D occurred, in fact.

That gives you plenty of time to submit your application.

Example Let’s say you conducted qualifying R&D between January and July in 2019, and that your financial year ended September 1st. 

Your application deadline would be September 1st, 2021.

TC How Far Back Graphic 2

What if I’ve already filed?

It doesn’t matter if you’ve already filed your tax return for the period in question. 

So long as you’re within two years of the end of the period, you can simply amend your return. 

In fact, we actually recommend companies apply for R&D Tax Credits via amending their CT600 in their original tax return.

This nifty shortcut speeds up HMRC’s processing times by rerouting your filing straight to an HMRC R&D specialist. 

They will be much more likely to understand your application.

How much can I claim?

If you’re an SME – which is determined by the company size test – you can claim up to 33% of your R&D costs via the SME scheme

You can do this even if your R&D failed.

If you’re a large company, you qualify for the RDEC scheme, which lets you claim up to 10% of your R&D costs. 

When will I get my tax credits?

HMRC aims to process R&D Tax Credits claims within 28 days. 

In our experience though, it can take up to 90 days for HMRC to process a claim and a further 10 to transfer the money.

If you want your money sooner – up to 6 months before your year end – make sure you check out our Advance Funding service.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about your claim, whether you qualify, or R&D Tax Credits generally, feel free to get in touch

Our team of tax credits experts would be happy to help!

The Ultimate Guide to R&D Tax Credits

GrantTree’s Ultimate Guide to R&D Tax Credits offers step-by-step instructions for preparing a maximised, compliant claim. Download it below.