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R&D tax relief – Software development

02 Mar 2022

R&D claims for software development are one of the more complex areas when it comes to R&D tax relief as the sector moves really quickly.  What might be considered qualifying R&D now won’t be in a few years’ time, especially as lots of information regarding new development gets released into the public domain.

We have heard some accountants and R&D consultants claim “All software development qualifies for R&D tax credits” and some claim “No software development qualifies”.  Neither is actually correct as the truth lies somewhere in the middle.  Whilst some software development does qualify for R&D tax credits, an awful lot doesn’t and being able to accurately identify qualifying activities as opposed to non-qualifying is essential when preparing an accurate and honest R&D claim.

At the time of writing, HMRC have a spotlight on software development claims.  They are opening a lot more enquiries into these claims, as historically it has been an area where lots of invalid or inflated R&D claims have been submitted.

To help companies better understand how R&D tax credits for software development may be applicable to their projects, we held a live session recently, a recording of which can be found here –

If you have any questions on this blog or anything R&D related, please contact us at

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