Research & Development: increased rates, restricted qualifying expenditure and improved process

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The Autumn Statement (delivered on 3 December 2014) has confirmed that Research & Development tax credits will be extended in broad terms, with the following changes being announced:

i)      Increase in the Finance Bill 2015 the rate of:

  • the “above the line” credit to 11% from 1 April 2015; and
  • the R&D credit for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to 230% from 1 April 2015.

ii)     Exclude in the Finance Bill 2015 the costs of materials incorporated in products that are sold from qualifying expenditure attracting R&D credits from 1 April 2015.

iii)    Launch a package of measures to streamline the application process for smaller companies investing in R&D. This is to involve introducing an advance assurance scheme for small businesses making their first claim and developing new guidance for R&D credits. The government intends to launch a consultation on the issues that smaller businesses face when claiming R&D credits in January 2015.

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