Deadlines when applying for R&D tax relief



Deadlines when applying for R&D tax relief

Nobody likes a deadline. It’s a word that immediately creates fear: what if I’ve already missed the deadline? Like most schemes, there are deadlines and time constraints when applying for research and development tax relief.

There can often be confusion in this areas and some businesses are unaware that there are any deadlines in the process at all.

For an innovative business unaware of the tax incentive or the deadlines, they could be sacrificing thousands of pounds each year. In this post, we’ve summarised the deadlines for different areas of the application process and the consequences of missing certain deadlines.

R&D tax deadlines

Compared to other schemes, R&D tax credits are generous in allowing plenty of time for businesses to apply. Both large companies and SMEs have two years from the end of the year of the tax credit claim.

Most companies use 31 March as the end date for their business year. So, if you’re claiming for a project that took place in November 2016, you have until midnight 31 March 2019 to apply.

The deadline for filing accounts, however, is nine months after the financial year. Failure to do so will result in a fine by HMRC. If a business misses the R&D tax credit claims submission date, they miss out on expenditure for that period.

A ‘protective claim’ can be made by businesses if they know that they won’t be able to meet the deadline date. This can only be done if the business is experiencing extenuating circumstances. The requirements for a protective claim are rigorous so should only be done if there is a genuine reason why the deadline could not be made.

Speak to an expert R&D tax claims specialist

Depending on the project, there is a range of costs that could be applicable. If you are unsure if some of the possible costs you incurred are eligible, we can help talk you through it.

If you wish to discuss your company’s R&D expenditure, claims and the R&D tax credits that may be available to you, contact R&T Consultants on 01858 445 522 or email


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