Examples of projects unlikely to qualify

HMRC have mentioned the following examples of software projects that wouldn’t qualify in their opinion:

“Some software applications or components of applications will normally follow established methodologies and not involve scientific or technological uncertainties and so not qualify as R&D, examples are:

  • The handling of interactions with users. This covers areas such as development of data entry procedures and user interfaces.
  • The visual presentation of information to users.
  • Creating software that replicates an established paper procedure, possibly building in best practices. The fact that a previously manual task has been automated does not by itself make it R&D.
  • The assembling, carrying out routine operations on, and the presenting of, data.
  • Using standard methods of encryption, security verification and data integrity testing.
  • Creation of websites or software using tools designed for that purpose.

However where these contribute directly to a larger R&D project they would not be excluded from the larger project.”


For examples of successful projects please refer to advance and uncertainty.