Research and Development Expenditure Credit

During the 2019-20 tax year, more than £3bn was awarded to large companies claiming for Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credits, under the Research and Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC) scheme

Did your large business benefit from Research and Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC)? If not, it could be time to find out if you are eligible for this valuable tax relief and start receiving tax credits.

What is the Research and Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC) scheme?

The government introduced a tax incentive for large companies, imaginatively called ‘The Large Company Scheme’ in 2002, to encourage investment in research and development and drive innovation in the UK. Luckily this has changed name to Research and Development Expenditure Credit, and allows Large companies a taxable credit of 12% (11% prior to the 1st January 2018) on qualifying expenditure on research and development.
The initiative has been supported by successive governments. This is because the underlying philosophy is that innovation and the development of new technologies, is fundamental to the success of UK Plc. An HMRC report on the Evaluation of Research and Development Tax Credits, shows that for every £1 paid by HMRC on R&D tax relief, generates R&D spending of up to £2.35. As a result of the evolving R&D Tax Credit schemes, the Large Company scheme was changed to the Research and Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC) scheme in 2013. Following this, there was a gradual phase out of the original Large Company scheme, however, since April 2016, this has been completely replaced by RDEC.

What research and development qualifies for Research and Development Expenditure Credits for large companies (RDEC)?

If you can answer yes to the following two questions, there is a high probability that you qualify.

Are you producing new or improved products, processes, services or software?

Did the design and development of those products involve some uncertainty for which the answers were not obvious?

If the answer to both questions is yes, the chances are that you could qualify for R&D Tax Credit. As a result, answering this is probably the most complex part of the R&D Tax Credit process, as it’s an area open to interpretation. Thankfully, this is where our specialist skills, along with our extensive experience is particularly useful! Read our blog “What qualifies as R&D?” for some examples of qualifying R&D.

Could You Be Eligible?

If you would like to discover whether your business may qualify for R&D tax relief

What expenditure is eligible for R&D Tax Credits?

Staffing Costs



Clinical Trials

Independent Research


Is the Research and Development Expenditure Credits (RDEC) scheme, right for you?

The legislation is quite complex, however, the criteria for a company to claim under the RDEC scheme, is that they employ more than 500 full time members of staff. Alongside this, the company would need a turnover of more than €100m or over €86m gross assets on their balance sheet. If you do not meet the criteria to be classified as a large company for the RDEC scheme, don’t worry. You may be still eligible for relief under the SME scheme.

The incentive for companies to claim RDEC

Under the RDEC scheme, 13% of qualifying expenditure on R&D can be claimed (Before 1st April 2020 the rate was 12%). As RDEC is taxable this means that the net benefit will be 9.7 pence for every £1 spent on qualifying research and development. Loss making companies can still benefit from RDEC through a net of tax cash credit.

How is R&D Tax Credit treated in your Accounts?

The position for companies claiming under the RDEC scheme is slightly different to those claiming under the SME scheme. As a result, the income is taxable; therefore, any RDEC acts as payment against the tax bill rather than reducing it.

Fiscale’s Step-by-Step guide to R&D Tax Credit claims

When working with Fiscale, we make the process of claiming SME R&D Tax Credit as simple and painless as possible.


We establish if the research and development that you are undertaking, meets the criteria as set out by HMRC. This is usually done over the telephone, followed by a face-to-face meeting. This is to ensure that you are eligible and if so, we will then start the claims process.

Technical meeting

Following the initial meeting to establish eligibility, we will then arrange a follow up to get to know (and understand) the work that you are undertaking. Typically, this meeting takes two hours and involves going though potentially qualifying projects in detail. At this meeting we will talk to the members of your team who are involved in the R&D, along with your financial team. We will also outline what is involved in processing a claim and the level of input required by your team.

Draft report

As a result of the in depth technical meeting, we are then able to draft a report that is based on our discussions and all of the information that you have provided. We will be looking at every angle of your R&D, to ensure that we maximise the value of your claim.


Once the report has been agreed by you, we then submit it to HMRC and deal directly with them on your behalf. You have the peace of mind that the report will be an accurate representation of your activities. We will also ensure that it is presented in a way that meets the requirements of HMRC.


Once the claim has been made, we will review your systems to help identify any areas of record keeping to support future claims. As a result, all future claims can be streamlined, making the process more straightforward.

Benefits of Working with Fiscale

Our management team have hands on experience in a diverse range of business sectors. We have a highly skilled team of research and development tax experts, including Chartered Tax Advisors, experienced in advising UK companies on all areas of Corporation Tax.

What do our clients get from their relationship with Fiscale ?

“Tailored advice and solutions by R&D Tax Credit professionals to benefit innovators”

As we have a sharp focus on R&D tax incentives and any changes to legislation. We work exclusively in this specialist area of tax and are therefore able to focus our full attention on R&D claims, ensuring correct detail and accuracy at every stage. Fiscale have already invested over £100,000 in bespoke systems to manage the claims process and enhance the client experience. We have established relationships with HMRC R&D Specialist units. All of our clients have a nominated account manager as a single point of contact, in order to ensure they are fully aware of the status of their claims. Take a look at our client experiences in our Sectors>Case Studies pages.

Being very responsive and hard working is what makes Fiscale a great choice!

Nasir Shaikh, UKeHub Ltd.

The service and commitment from the Fiscale team was excellent in achieving a successful conclusion to our R&D Tax Credits report.

John Deacon, Centre Stage Engineering Ltd.

Fiscale provide an excellent and seamless service. I would happily recommend.

Paul Goodwin, Digiflex Ltd.

Could You Be Eligible?

If you would like to discover whether your business may qualify for R&D tax relief