Does grant funding stop me being able to claim R&D tax credits?
No, it doesn't, you can still claim R&D relief and tax credits. What it does do is affect what and how you can claim, and complicates the claim process, which is easy to get wrong. R&D driven companies are often recipients of grant funding, and it's still worth doing both. I'll briefly cover the main ways they interact, but individual situations are usually more complex and need dealing with on a case by case basis.
Who gave you the grant?
Let's start with the assumption you are an SME (definition below), so you are claiming the higher level of R&D enhancement of 130% (more here if you need it). If your grant is from a UK source it's highly likely it's classified as "State Aid", and this prevents you from claiming at the SME rate. You can still claim though! The reasons are complicated, but you can claim R&D relief under the Large Company part of the R&D relief scheme. The Large Company enhancement rate is only 30%, but bear in mind that you've already used the grant to reduce your costs, and you'll be claiming on the entire cost of the project, not just your own contribution to its costs. For this reason it's worth considering using a grant (if you accept it's own potential pitfalls) along with claiming R&D relief.
Europeans are different
Your grant funding might come from a European source, where many of the grants awarded are not classified as "State Aid", and the way you claim changes again. The "State Aid" rules are there to ensure as level a playing field as possible across member states, but funding from the EU itself often isn't subjected to this. In this situation you claim the funded part under the Large Company part, but your own expenditure is under the SME part of the scheme. Your grant provider will clarify whether your funding counts as State Aid or not, or we can help.
All or nothing?
So you've had grant funding, and you can claim R&D relief, and the good news continues. You might think that if you've got "State Aid" grant funding your entire R&D claim will be under the Large Company scheme. It's actually possible to claim both SME and Large Company relief in the same accounting period, as long as the funded and unfunded work are in separate projects and identified carefully.
Can I get paid now?
You might have heard that companies claiming under the Large Company scheme can only save tax in the future through carrying loss forward, but actually since April 2013 you can get cash back with that scheme too. Yes, this is a summary of the highest level, so please give us a call if you think this will apply to you, or in fact if you have any questions about anything I've written.
0115 824 0402
SME –a Small to Medium sized Enterprise that is; less than 500 staff AND up to €100 m turnover OR up to €86 m balance sheet value
Enhancement values – when you worked out your profit you recorded your costs at what they cost you, 100%. For SMEs you can add another 130% to your R&D costs, and for Large Companies an extra 30%. These act to reduce your taxable profit and save you tax…..