Is it too late to claim? When can I claim? How do I claim?

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Three common questions surrounding R&D tax relief claims and the answers are given below:


Is it too late to claim?

The deadline is 2 years from the end of the accounting period. So, if your year end is 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018, you have until 31 December 2020 to make a claim. This means that claims are still possible for years ended after 31 January 2017.
HMRC are known to allow claims beyond 2 years but only if the company can prove that if the relief was denied, it cannot trade going forward.


When can I claim?

The claim is submitted in the corporation tax computations. The R&D report detailing why the work is qualifying under the legislation and the costs involved are also submitted at the same time. It is therefore not possible to submit an R&D claim until the statutory accounts are signed off.
HMRC then have 12 months from the date of submission to ensure that the claim and costs qualify. After this date, they cannot go back provided all the relevant information has been submitted with the tax computations.


How do I claim? 

The key is to ensure that the research and development work qualifies under the legislation, that all costs are identified and the claim is made within the time limits. It I therefore essential that a comprehensive report is submitted with the computations rather than a deduction line in the computations which can be easily challenged at any time.