Claiming Tax on your Research and Development Projects



Yes, we know…. Tax isn’t our typical topic of conversation, but as you know, we are always aiming to add value, and when we find out something that could have a positive impact on your budgets, then you bet we want to tell you about it.

Most of you probably already know that businesses can claim tax relief on research and development projects. For tax purposes, the R & D takes place when a project makes advances in overall knowledge or capability in the field of science or technology.

But what’s that got to do with marketing?

The definition of R & D is by no means limited to product innovation. Systems, processes, web technology etc. are also seen by the HMRC in some circumstances to qualify for R & D tax relief.

As an agency, we build websites and applications for many of our clients to enable them to better serve their customers. These projects often are very bespoke by nature and make legitimate and unique advances in technology.

If you are completing an R & D project that lead to greater innovation in your business – for instance, a website redevelopment or an innovative app – then it’s worth knowing that you may be able to claim tax relief.

We’ve done some digging and found out that the construction industry only made 200 R&D tax credit claims in 2017-18, and only three-quarters of those were actually claimed.


Only 200 claims, yet R&D expenditure increased by 5.8% in 2018 to £25 billion across all UK businesses. 

We’re guessing that construction businesses aren’t taking advantage of claiming this tax relief.

If you want more information on how to make a claim, check out this handy guide by the HMRC.

With the election looming, both main parties have vowed to continue, if not increase funding for UK businesses to continue to innovate.

So if marketing budgets are tight moving into 2020, perhaps it’s worth exploring whether some of your marketing spend can be claimed back.

If you want to explore it in more detail, contact us and we’d be happy to connect you to an advisor.

About Stuart Dinnie

Stuart has worked in the world of digital marketing for over 15 years. With his measured and planned approach, he has delivered robust digital strategies for construction companies to achieve real business growth. He now heads up the team at Pauley Creative as Managing Director and is leading his team & clients towards digital marketing excellence. He’s worked with over 100 construction clients; helping them on their digital transformation journey, providing sustainable strategies that return year on year incremental growth, delivering award-winning websites and adding value from board level to marketing assistant.

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