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HMRC R&D tax crsedits statistics 2019 – our commentary

The government is giving more of a boost than ever before to the UK’s most innovative companies, according to the latest statistics. HMRC has provided information on the number of companies claiming research and development (R&D) tax credits and the value of claims for the year 2017-18 so far. There is still time to make a claim, if you think you might qualify contact one of our specialist advisors.

This page is now archived. It is based on HMRC statistics 2019 – released in October 2019.

Key points to show the value of this opportunity to innovative business in the UK

Source HMRC R&D tax credits statistics 2019


Claims since the schemes began

Updates to 2016-17 – compared to previous year

Due to the nature of the scheme, returns for the latest financial year reported (2017-18) can still be submitted past the cut-off date for the publication of these figures. As a result data for 2017-18 is not yet complete. To avoid misleading comparisons between years HMRC have compared the years 2016-17 to 2015-16 in their publication when discussing change between years, and 2017-18 when discussing in-year characteristics.

Claims in the tax year 2017-18 so far

These sectors continued to have the greatest volume of claims, making up a total of 68% of claims and 73% of the total amount claimed

R&D claims are concentrated in companies with a registered office in London, the South East or the East of England 46% of all claims and 61% of the total amount claimed

To date £26.9bn in tax relief has been claimed through these schemes.

Don’t miss out. You have nothing to lose by contacting us. But a lot to gain.

Regional analysis of number and value of SME R&D tax credit claims, 2017-18

Based on government office region


Firms registered in London

Number of claims

Amount claimed £(m)


Average claim value for SMEs



Regional allocation is based on the postcode of the company’s registered address, which might not correspond to where the R&D activity takes place, so caution must be exercised when interpreting these figures. Figures exclude claims where region is not known. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 5 and amounts are rounded to the nearest £5m.

Industry analysis of number and value of Patent Box, 2017-18 so far

Information & Communication

Number of claims

Amount claimed £(m)


Average claim value for

Information & Communication


This coding might not correspond to the industry sector of the R&D activity, so caution must be exercised when interpreting these figures. Figures exclude claims where industry sector is not known. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 5 and amounts are rounded to the nearest £5m. Where the number of claims is less than 5, or the value of claims is less than £5m we have excluded that sector from our results. This is the case for the Mining & Quarrying and Public Administration, Defence and Social Services sectors.

Podcast: Accountancy Age R&D Tax Credits: doing nothing is not an option

We spoke to Accountancy Age’s Managing Editor, Austin Clark, about the recently published HMRC statistics on R&D tax credits.

While these latest figures show that the number of claims by UK businesses is increasing, GovGrant’s CEO Luke Hamm suggests much more needs to be done to encourage more organisations to take advantage of the credits available. With the UK still way behind our major competitors when it comes to government expenditure on R&D support, Luke discusses a way forward.

Listen to GovGrant on the Inside Accountancy podcast

Comments from our CEO, Luke Hamm