R&D Tax Credits - Definition of Technology

R&D Tax Credits - Definition of Technology
The software underpinning RDRelief was sold to one of the big-4 professional service firms in 2018. Consequently, the brand is no longer in operation.
  • R&D Tax Advisors are invited to find out more about the Inspired.tax claim preparation software.
  • Otherwise, please feel free to continue to browse this website for useful information regarding claiming R&D Tax Credits in the UK. However, beware that none of the information has been updated since 2018.

Background

'Technology' for the purpose of R&D Tax Credits has been explicitly specifically defined within the BEIS guidelines.
This means that any preconceptions about what is meant by technology (a term that has very different uses in different industries) should ideally be put aside for the purpose of making an R&D Tax Credits claim - with just the official definition below being taken forwards.

BEIS Definition

"Technology is the practical application of scientific principles and knowledge, where 'scientific' is based on the definition of science above."
"These Guidelines apply equally to work in any branch or field of technology."

Analysis

The majority of UK R&D Tax Credits claims leverage the definition of an advance (and uncertainty) in 'Technology', rather than in Science. Although we find that the definition maps fairly closely to the preconceptions of most competent professionals we speak with, there are many subtle differences which come into play for some specific types of projects.
The official definition of technology is often one of the stumbling block of an R&D Tax Credits claim as often people see it as the application of technology to a business or commercial problem. Rather the definition is explicitly looking for the practical application of knowledge and principles from science.

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