R&D Tax Credits – Business continuity and support during these challenging times
The spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a major impact on the way we go about our lives and our business.  The situation is changing daily but we wish to reassure all our existing and future clients that we have already instigated a comprehensive business continuity plan to ensure we are able to provide an uninterrupted service. All our R&D teams have the capability to work remotely and we have instigated a remote approach for all clients, facilitated by video conferencing, allowing us to deliver the same quality and format of service that you would normally receive in person. 

Help Line: Recognising the difficulties businesses are facing in trying to keep up to date with the details of the constantly changing financial support available and finding the information that matters to them, we have set up a help line to support you. We can’t promise to have all the answers at our fingertips as we all know some of these initiatives have yet to be firmed up by the Government, but your feedback will help us understand what you really want to know and focus our efforts on finding you the answers you need. Call us on 0114 263 2632

Software and R&D



Initial Meeting


Facts and Figures

Submissions and Review



A recent HMRC conference on the R&D relief was told there are 100,000 software development companies in the UK and only a small fraction of them (perhaps 10%) are currently claiming R&D tax relief.

Of course, not all of them will be doing R&D, but producing successful new software can be inherently challenging, as it has to operate in conjunction with other systems that may use different protocols, and it has to function in an ever changing landscape – so Apple for example have produced four new versions of their operating system in a year. What works at a small scale prototype level then has to be tested for scalability, as new problems will emerge around scheduling and capacity once the volume of data increase.  On top of that, the need to make software web friendly for access from a variety of different devices, from mobile phones to desk tops, just adds to the complexity of the challenge.

In consequence, a great deal of software development does meet the requirements to be R&D. Despite this, a lot of companies do not claim, and software claims have a reputation for often being hard to agree with HMRC.

This is because the HMRC staff are not technologists, and have only a fuzzy idea of how software works. Therefore they may not appreciate the level of uncertainty that exists as to whether a particular software architecture or process will work successfully without testing and further development. The fact that you can easily say in words what the software will do does not mean that achieving the desired functionality in software is a simple task!



This is an area where MSC R&D’s software professionals can make all the difference, as they have the knowledge to understand your challenges and the experience of presenting such issues to enable HMRC to understand them. Their credentials are such that they also carry weight if there is the need for further discussion with HMRC.

Software R&D can cover a very large part of the development process from checking suitable data sources and filtering techniques through to “fit for purpose” testing of a scaled up prototype. However, identifying this in a way acceptable to HMRC is a skill developed over numerous claims. By using a specialist like MSC R&D you can be confident of getting the maximum available advantage from your R&D claim in a defensible way, and without tying your technologists in knots trying to learn new tax skills, instead of concentrating on the continuing development they are best at.