R&D Tax Credits news: How to complete the R&D supplementary return/the application for general approval

In your R&D supplementary return, you will be asked to provide background information. This includes a name and reference for the project within which your R&D activities are occurring.

Within each project you will be asked for the information outlined below. From year 2 (the 2020-21 income year) the information about R&D activities will be required in your application for general approval and the supplementary return will largely focus on expenditure information.

Purpose of R&D

Your R&D must have a material purpose of creating new knowledge or new or improved processes, services or goods.

Scientific or technological uncertainty or uncertainties

The identification of the uncertainty or uncertainties is critical to your claim for the tax credit as it is the basis for the identification of eligible R&D activity.

The uncertainty should be described as a question which can only be answered by a systematic approach (testing, experimentation prototyping or similar) to evaluating possible answers.

Substantiating that the answer is not already known

You will be asked how you know that the uncertainty could not be resolved using publicly available knowledge or resolved through knowledge deduced by a competent professional.

Core R&D activity

Core R&D activity starts once you have formulated a possible solution or solutions to scientific or technological uncertainty.

You should describe the process of testing, experimentation or analysis that you used or are proposing to use to evaluate the possible solution(s) to the scientific or technological uncertainty.

Supporting R&D activity

Supporting activities while not part of the immediate process of testing, experimentation or analysis are nonetheless undertaken for that purpose and are both required for and integral to it.

Each supporting activity needs to be described separately in your supplementary return or (in year 2) your request for general approval, but you should avoid pitching your description at an excessively detailed level.

You must be able to provide further information about the work undertaken and the related expenditure should we seek it.