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What Can Be Claimed?

Claims Can Include:

You can claim certain costs on the project from the date you start working on it until you develop or discover the advance, or the project is stopped.

Employee costs

For staff working directly on the R&D project, you can claim a proportion of their:

  • Salaries
  • Wages
  • Class 1 National Insurance contributions
  • Pension fund contributions

You can claim for administrative or support staff who work to directly support a project. For example, human resources used to recruit a specific person to work on the project. You cannot claim for clerical or maintenance work that would have been done anyway, like managing payroll.

You can claim 65% of the relevant payments made to an external agency if they provide staff for the project.

Subcontractor costs

You can claim 65% of the relevant costs of using a subcontractor for your R&D activities if you subcontract to a charity, higher education institute, scientific research organisation, health service body, individual or partnership of individuals.


You can claim for software licence fees bought for R&D and a reasonable share of the costs for software partly used in your R&D activities.

Consumable items

You can claim for the relevant proportion of consumable items used up in the R&D. This includes:

  • Materials
  • Utilities including light, heat, and power that is being used for the purposes of R&D.
  • Clinical trials volunteers

For R&D projects in the pharmaceutical industry, you can claim for payments made to volunteers involved in clinical tests.

Claims Cannot Include:

You cannot claim for:

  • The production and distribution of goods and services
  • Capital expenditure
  • The cost of land
  • The cost of patents and trademarks
  • Rent or rates
  • Clerical or maintenance work that would have been done anyway, such as managing payroll.
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