Failure is an option – R&D Tax Relief

Bringing to you another misconception of R&D Tax Relief – the idea that a project must be successful to qualify.

More often than not, clients will exclude projects from our discussions where it’s been deemed to be a failure or if they have not achieved a successful outcome.

This could result in an understated claim since they will typically exclude staff time and other qualifying costs associated with these failed projects. In fact, a failed project only provides stronger evidence that there were scientific or technological uncertainties that had to be resolved, which is a key criterion point for tax relief.

When considering time spent, and resources being employed in your projects, ensure that you consider those invested in projects that haven’t been successful due to not being able to resolve the uncertainties. Although it may seem bad for a business to be recording a failure, they make the perfect examples for your R&D report evidence and shows that what you are attempting to achieve was not possible from the outset.

Of course, every project has its own intricacies and each case is different, so it’s always best to consult an expert with regard to what may be qualifying or not. With enhanced scrutiny from HMRC on R&D claims in recent months, it pays to work with a firm that is well-rehearsed in providing high-quality evidence with each claim.

If you have any queries regarding the types of qualifying projects or costs, please do not hesitate to contact our Corporate Tax Manager, Gina Gardner by emailing

For more information about our services and how we can help your business please get in touch.
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