As mentioned in the previous post, eligible R&D expenditure is money spent on a project which ‘solves technical uncertainty’. Therefore, any company which is ‘solving technical uncertainty’ could be eligible to reclaim some of their R&D costs. This is a phrase lifted directly from the CIRD – aka the R&D Tax Credits bible – and perhaps needs a little unravelling to get to the bottom of what HMRC means…
In short – what HMRC means by ‘solving technical uncertainty’ is proof that money has been spent on a complex and challenging product. If you have spent money on solving uncertainty in a project – for example, if it involves issues of scalability, performance, integration, algorithmic developments, and of course technical innovation, it would tend to qualify.
So, from this – any company can actually claim R&D Tax Credits, providing they can prove that their project qualifies. If you are unsure about whether your project qualifies, then many R&D Tax Credit specialists offer you a free qualification to run through what you have spent and when you spent it so you can get an estimate of how much you could expect to claim back.
On last point is that it is important to remember that in order to claim R&D Tax Credits, you have to have spent the money in the first place. R&D Tax Credits work by “enhancing”, the amount of money spent on qualifying R&D. Many bootstrapped startups spend little to no money until much later, so R&D Tax Credits can’t really provide much impact, but if you are ever in doubt, you should call a specialist so you can be sure about what you can claim back.