Knowledge hub  > How far back can you claim R&D tax credits?

How far back can you claim R&D tax credits?

If your company has been undertaking qualifying R&D and has not yet claimed R&D relief, you may make a claim for a tax return period that has already been filed with HMRC. The time limit for this is two years after the end of the accounting period. Bear in mind that the accounting period isn’t necessarily the same as the tax return date.

R&D tax credits are a form of Corporation Tax relief and the latest you can amend your Corporation Tax return is typically 24 months after the end of the accounting period

New to claiming R&D tax credits?

For established businesses accounting periods are usually a standard twelve months, although there may be specific circumstance when they are different.

So as an example of the 24 month deadline could look like this:

  • You file your accounts to 31 March each year
  • You have until 31 March 2022 to make a claim for your accounting period ended 31 March 2020.
  • The actual deadline is midnight on 31 March 2022.
  • After that it won’t be possible to claim tax relief on R&D qualifying expenditure incurred between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020.

Does it matter which R&D tax relief scheme you’re using?

Both the SME R&D tax relief scheme and The Research and Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC) scheme offer Corporation Tax relief so the 24 month deadline applies to both. Find out more about which R&D tax relief scheme would be best for you here.

Already claiming R&D tax credits?

Even if you have made a tax credit claim for an accounting period in the past there is every chance that we can improve on it. When you sign up with GovGrant you know that you will be in safe hands for the future but one of the first things we do is go back for two years to do all we can to improve the claims and reports already submitted. So that opportunity isn’t lost.

On average, we have increased existing tax credit claims by 200%, because we know how and where to find the full potential of your claim.

How can I claim R&D tax relief as a start up?

Things can be a little different in your first year of business. The date you register your business with Companies House sets your incorporation date. It’s your incorporation date that becomes the default registration date so your first accounting period is set to twelve months from the end of that month.

If this isn’t convenient for you it’s very common to move your accounting year to another date. It follows that your first financial period can vary, from 6 to 18 months.

When it comes to claiming R&D tax credits the deadline for filing will always be two years from the end of each accounting period, regardless of the length of each accounting period. In actual fact this applies if the length of your accounting period varies for any reason, not just because you are a new business.

What if the start date of the project is before the period we can claim?

If you have started an R&D project prior to the two years deadline, but the project is ongoing then it can still be considered for a claim. If we are able to identify qualifying expenditure on R&D activity during your last two accounting periods, then you are still able to claim, regardless of when that particular project started.

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