I’m a website designer business – Can I claim R&D Tax Credits?

Date: 21st December 2016

Well here’s how you can tell

First, ask yourself a few quick questions:


Web based application software? Check out your claim…

  1. Do we spend time designing web based applications rather than just creating websites?
  2. Do we consider that our web based applications are creative and innovative?
  3. Do my software developers have to trial, check out possible solutions and experiment before we have a stable and working web based application?
  4. Are we constantly trying to offer more competitive and innovative solutions for our clients?

If this sounds like your business, then you should certainly seek advice on whether you should claim. In straight forward terms, a bog standard website creator probably cannot claim; but as soon as you add web based applications such as social media tools, e-commerce, custom intranet capabilities…….then you are probably applying science or technology to create technical advances or competitive new solutions. 

Much of R&D claims are based on the PAYE bill of the business and so it will be particularly worthwhile if you employ software development people. Not the graphic designers, but rather the actual web based software developers. Be aware though that Dividend income can not be part of a claim, it must be PAYE.

The current HMRC rules allow you to claim for the previous two full company tax years as well as the current year. It only takes a couple of PAYE employees to rack up a very useful claim! Just make sure you seek advice before your year end or you lose one of the previous two periods, and that can be very annoying……

Best advice is to talk to an R&D Tax Credit specialist. preferably, someone that is used to dealing with software claims.

Look for the “Intellect” sign on their website or emails. This means they are members of Intellect, the Software Technology Trade Body, and understand software developers.

Don’t leave money on the table!  Speaking to an R&D Tax Credit specialist and asking for an initial assessment should cost you absolutely nothing. The government want to encourage innovative businesses like yours and it is not just about rocket science

Jaime Lumsden, Director

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