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Claim R&D tax credit

Get back 33% of your R&D expenses

Capture your R&D claims on SeedLegals guided by our R&D tax credit specialists. Get your R&D application done faster than anybody else.

R&D Tax Credits
  • 35,000

    companies on SeedLegals

  • 100%

    success rate

  • 0%

    claims reduced

You invested in R&D. Let's get your money back

  • Create your SeedLegals account

  • Enter your project and expenditure details

  • Send us your company accounts

  • An R&D specialist reviews all your documents

  • Get instructions to submit your R&D claim

How much R&D tax relief could your company claim?

  • Profit making
    Loss making
  • £
  • £
  • £
  • £
We estimate you could get back up to
£ -
in cash or tax credits
Built by R&D experts

Get R&D Tax Credit guidance

Find helpful, friendly questions and examples on how to complete the claim. No need for any previous expertise.

Expert tip
Reviewed by experts

Get your R&D claim reviewed by experts

Our experts will fully review your application so you can confidently send it to HMRC.

R and D tax relief
Fully flexible

Capture your R&D projects year round

Remember what % of your CTO's time was R&D, nine months ago? SeedLegals turns that data gathering into a real-time collaborative experience. Save time by capturing your projects and costs as you go.

Save even more time

Pre-filled form fields based on historics

Already using SeedLegals for your agreements? Great! We'll auto-import your team to populate your R&D claim. Already filed a claim with us before? It'll be even faster next time.

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    R&D Tax Credit Claims

    Everything you need to claim your R&D tax credit from HMRC

    5% +VAT
    Minimum fee £990 (No win no fee)
    What's included?
    • tickStep by step guide and help
    • tickYour claim generated and checked by our R&D tax credit experts
    • tickUnlimited free help from our team
    • tickInstructions on how to submit your claim to HMRC

    How it works
    • 1
      Click to start your R&D tax credit application
    • 2
      Define one or more projects, add details
    • 3
      Import your employees and consultants
    • 4
      Add their costs and % time spent on R&D
    • 5
      Add other costs and expenses
    • 6
      We'll generate the claim for you and review everything for you
    • 7
      You submit the claim to HMRC
  • What our customers say

    From food to fintech and beyond, over 25,000 startups use SeedLegals. Here's what some of our customers say about our R&D Tax Credits service...

    • Cookly Bookly logo
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    • Freddy May

      I've been a SeedLegals user for over two years. I can't sing their praises highly enough in general. I was delighted when they added support for R&D claims, and the quality of this service lived up to the same standards as the rest of the platform.

      Freddy May

      Founder / CEO , Cookly Bookly Ltd

      Cookly Bookly logo
    • Alian logo quote

      SeedLegals made the process of claiming R&D tax credits seamless and intuitive.

      Alice Garnier

      Operations Lead , Alian Ltd

      Alian logo
    • Joey Jones quote

      I wouldn't have been able to file a successful claim without the help of SeedLegals. The R&D claims process isn't 'DIY' - you definitely need help to do it.

      Joey Jones

      Chief Revenue and Compliance Officer, CurveBlock

      Curveblock logo
    • Cookly Bookly logo
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    Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

    • How does R&D tax credit work?

      R&D tax credits are a tax relief designed to encourage greater R&D spending, leading in turn to greater investment in innovation. They work by either reducing a company’s liability to corporation tax or through a cash payment to the company.

      In order for your company to claim their R&D costs, you will need to file an R&D claim with HMRC for the costs relating to the qualifying R&D projects, you can make claims going back 2 accounting periods.

      The size of the R&D claim will depend on your total qualifying expenditure as well as the type of expenditure. Some will allow you to claim a higher percentage (employee costs) than others (subcontractor costs). Finally, some expenditures, such as rent, won’t qualify for R&D at all.
    • What are the R&D tax credit rates?

      The scheme allows companies to claim back up to 33% of the money they spent on research and development. It can even be claimed on unsuccessful projects.
    • What's the R&D tax credit processing time?

      On average, it would take HMRC 4-6 weeks to process your R&D claim and in the case of payable tax credits, another 1 week for the money to arrive in the nominated bank account after the claim has been submitted.
    • How far back can you claim R&D tax credits?

      R&D relief must be claimed within 2 years of the accounting period the R&D took place. For example if your accounting year end is 31 December 2019 you have until 31 December 2021 to submit your claim. This means you are able to submit an amended tax return for a previous period if you may have missed out on potential tax credits or tax savings.
    • What's the R&D tax credit criteria?

      First and foremost, any company participating in any kind of R&D (and R&D is a very broad definition, far from being only software or deep tech) is very likely eligible for claiming back up to 33% of your expenditure on R&D in the form of corporation tax deduction or cash payments from HMRC.

      To qualify the company must be carrying out R&D work in the field of science or technology. The relief is not just for ‘white coat’ scientific research but also for ‘brown coat’ development work in design and engineering that involves overcoming difficult technological problems.

      The qualified R&D work must be part of a specific project to make an advance in science or technology. It cannot be in a theoretical field – such as pure maths.

      The project must be clearly related to your company’s trade – either an existing one, or one that you intend to start based on the results of the R&D.

      There are a few elements you’ll need to demonstrate in your R&D claim to show how your project:

      1. Looked for an advance in science and technology
      2. Had to overcome uncertainty
      3. Tried to overcome this uncertainty
      4. Could not be easily worked out by a competent professional in the field
    • How to claim R&D tax credits?

      R&D tax credits are claimed through your Company Tax Return (CT600) which is normally submitted on an annual basis and based on the figures from your Statutory Company Accounts.

      There are two components of an R&D claim and they are submitted as appendices to the Company Tax Return.

      Technical Narrative

      Your Technical Narrative is a document that has two main purposes. First of all it is used to justify why the work done by the company qualifies for R&D tax relief. It should outline the work done by the company, which technical uncertainties were encountered and how you attempted to overcome them. You do not need to be successful in overcoming these uncertainties to qualify for R&D tax relief, an aborted project or work done before a change in direction will still qualify.

      Secondly it is used to justify the size of your claim by outlining the number of projects that took place in the period, the amount of time spent on those projects (employees or contractors) and any other expenditure that may be relevant.

      R&D Calculations

      This is a breakdown of costs and the percentage of those costs that relate to R&D. It should include any qualifying costs relating to employment (Salaries, Employer National Insurance and Employer Pension Contributions), contractors, software, consumables, prototypes and any other relevant expenditure. These figures are then used to calculate and show the uplift on your tax allowable R&D expenditure and the size of the tax credit or tax saving.
    • What are the R&D tax credit qualifying expenses?

      Direct R&D staff costs

      You can claim for Gross Salaries, Employer NI Contributions and Employer Pension Contributions for your PAYE employees engaged in your R&D project. This covers employees who undertake ‘hands on’ R&D work and the proportion of supervisory and managerial time spent specifically directing such employees in those activities.

      Support staff costs, for example administrative or clerical staff, do not qualify, except when they relate to qualifying indirect activities. These can be activities like maintenance, clerical, administrative and security work.

      Externally provided R&D staff

      You can usually claim up to 65% of the payments made to the staff provider, in a case where your staff costs are paid to an external agency. Here as well, the eligible costs are for staff who are engaged in the R&D project.

      Subcontracted R&D

      SME Scheme: You can generally claim for up to 65% of the payments made to subcontractors. The subcontracted work may be further subcontracted to any third party.

      RDEC Scheme: R&D expenditure subcontracted to other persons is generally not allowable unless it is directly undertaken by a charity, higher education institute, scientific research organisation or health service body — or by an individual or a partnership of individuals.

      Consumable items

      You can claim for the cost of items that are directly employed and consumed in qualifying R&D projects. These include materials and the proportion of water, fuel and power consumed in the R&D process. Costs of materials incorporated in products that are sold are not eligible for relief.


      You can claim for the cost of software that is directly employed in the R&D activity. Where software is only partly employed in direct R&D, an appropriate apportionment should be made.


      If you are creating a prototype to test the R&D being undertaken, the design, construction and testing costs will normally be qualifying expenses. However, if the prototype is also built with a view to selling the prototype itself (such as the construction of a bespoke machine), this will be considered as a production and outside the R&D scheme.

      In that case you need to work out the split between R&D expenditure and production costs. For example, the construction costs and materials consumed would not be qualifying expenses, but design, modelling and testing costs could still qualify.

      Clinical trial volunteers

      Pharmaceutical companies and research organisations often make payments to volunteers taking part in clinical trials.

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