How far back can I Claim R&D Tax Credits

Should I claim

One of the most over looked things when people first talk to us about an R&D Tax Credit claim is that the claim is linked to your Statutory Accounts and your Corporation Tax Return. You can’t claim without preparing these other two essential documents and you have to fill in a number of boxes on your tax return to make the claim.

You have one year from the end of the accounting period to prepare and file your tax return, even though you have to pay any tax 9 months and a day after the year end, and something else most people don’t realise is that you then have up until the second anniversary of the year end to make any amendments to that return.

That means when you talk to us about your potential to claim for a project that you are undertaking today, in this financial year, if you have undertaken any similar projects in the two financial periods before this current one, then you could file some historic claims. The deadline is not flexible, it is a very hard deadline, so at the end of the day on the second anniversary of the end of your company’s accounting period the window slams shut.

A couple of examples

Let us assume that today is 1 November 2021. Your company has a December year end. That means  that you are currently in an accounting period for the year ended 31 December 2021, you need to file your tax return for the year ended 31 December 2020, by the end of the year and you also have until the end of the year to amend your tax return for the year ended 31 December 2019.

If you had £25,000 of eligible R&D spend in 2019 and £40,000 of eligible spend in 2020, you could get around £6,200 of tax relief in 2019 and around £9,900 of tax relief in 2020 if you were profitable. If you were loss making you could claim a repayable tax credit of around £8,300 in 2019 and £13,300 in 2020.

However, if your company has a September year end, you’ve just finished your 2021 accounting period and will shortly begin the task of preparing your accounts for 30 September 2021, and you are in the accounting period for 30 September 2022, that means you can still claim R&D Tax Relief for your 30 September 2020 year end by amending your tax return for that year and you could also claim for 30 September 2021 when you prepare your initial return, but you will have just missed the deadline for preparing a claim for 30 September 2019.

Morals have consequences

If there is a moral to this story, it is don’t put off talking to someone about R&D Tax Relief, the longer you delay the more money you are losing. Having a conversation with us about your potential to claim is absolutely free and without obligation, however some firms who cold call, will have their sales team ask some basic qualifying questions and will sign you up to claim before even having that slightly more in depth conversation. If you talk to us, you’ll be talking to an expert and we reckon in 15 minutes of talking to you about your company and the work it has been doing, we’ll have a pretty good idea whether it is worth pursuing a claim.

Book a call today at and start that conversation, it could mean you don’t miss out on claiming £000’s back from HM Revenue and Customs.