Definition of R&D for tax purposes

The BIS Guidelines (previously DTI Guidelines 2004), enforced by Parliamentary regulations, defines R&D. Some of the key paragraphs are:

Paragraph 3: “R&D for tax purposes takes place when a project seeks to achieve an advance in science or technology.”

Paragraph 4: “The activities that directly contribute to achieving this advance in science or technology through the resolution of scientific or technological uncertainty are R&D.”

Paragraph 5: “Certain qualifying indirect activities related to the project are also R&D.”

What does this mean?

This means that a project may qualify for R&D tax relief if the project results in a new or appreciably improved:

     – Process

     – Material

     – Device

     – Product or service (paragraphs 8-9)

AND if there are uncertainties which cannot be readily resolved by a competent professional in the field (paragraphs 13-14)