Blog: UK Research and Development Third Edition

UK Companies can now retrieve up to 33% of their RD spend through HMRC reliefs and tax credit payments. Yet fewer than an estimated 37% of Companies eligible for this important funding do so. UK Science and Technology Companies are rarely far from the News, with important 5G and Space Satellite programmes reaching worldwide platforms. Why then, is the RD relief mechanism opaque and apparently slow to respond to the trend for UK plc’s emergence as a major innovation nation?

Certainly, the UK Government are deeply committed to the reliefs, which after all have paid £2.2bn to UK innovators since their introduction in 2000. The Parliamentary Science Committee have posted five Special Reports upon UK Science & Innovation post Brexit (May 2018); each has important news upon the continuity of RD reliefs and important research programmes and direct funding for UK science and technology. At the heart of this dynamic, the Third Edition of the book, ‘UK R & D Tax Reliefs’, provides easy to follow updates on the opportunities and challenges facing innovative companies and of course, the latest practical guide to UK RD reliefs and concessions following the 2018 Finance Act enactment of the Budget.

For me, making the most of the available UK RD reliefs has reached critical importance as we look beyond ‘Brexit’ into the global market- places for innovation. Each business has the opportunity to harness important tax and grant funding with a firm commitment for continuity made by the Government to both EU grant opportunities and the successful RD tax credit programme for both small and large companies.

UK R & D Tax Reliefs (Third Edition), is published at an important time: the value of the reliefs has reached an all time high, and the volume of claims and awareness of the opportunity similarly peaking. An easy to follow ‘One stop’ handbook has an important place. It will lead the FD and tax professional alike quickly through the maze of EU and UK legislation and Finance Acts from which the reliefs are drawn to a simple checklist ensuring maximum funding for innovation.

The global context of UK RD is part of the bonus material in the Book and puts in perspective the importance of the OECD innovation growth business environment. International comparisons of RD relief frameworks in other countries and their effectiveness provides important comparisons and a measure of the impact and success of the UK RD tax relief programme. With international labour and marketplaces gaining importance, the situs of RD operations can quickly become a significant decision.

Finally, practical case studies taken from ‘live’ business scenarios provide insight into the pitfalls and opportunities the relief programmes provide, resolving areas of practical difficulty and ambiguity in the legislation. The reality of HMRC interpretations is explored and the decisions in recent key Tax Cases affecting RD claims evaluated.


An indispensable ‘Go to’ publication for any innovative business - Maria Kitt* (Author). Maria is well known in R & D circles and writes and lectures extensively on the subject. Maria is a Partner at Tax Insight, and is based in the heart of UK Science Park community. She has over thirty years’ experience in assisting innovative companies with complex and practical tax issues. Maria is the author of Research and Development Tax Reliefs. 

Written by Ellie MacKenzie

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