A Guide to Claiming R&D Tax Credits for Farm Businesses

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R&D credits were introduced in 2000 to help stimulate innovation in the UK. They subsidise companies innovating either in the form of a reduction in the amount of tax companies pay or a credit against tax. So there’s money waiting in HMRC’s coffers for deserving farm businesses who are innovating in their field!

Despite agriculture contributing £8bn to national GDP and directly employing 425,000 people, the value of R&D claims made to government from the sector was only 0.2% of the total amount claimed. So it’s widely agreed that agricultural businesses are missing out on a lot of potential credit from the government.

EmpowerRD are a digital-first R&D claims advisor who combine industry-leading expertise with an intelligent claims platform to dramatically reduce the cost of claiming for R&D credits. They charge claimants 5% of their credit or less – which EmpowerRD estimates makes them 3-4 times cheaper than traditional advisors and accountants.

Common Misconceptions

You needn’t wear a white coat to claim R&D credits, sometimes a pair of wellies will do!

While many farm businesses will be employing a lot of advanced technologies on site, they may think that only the manufacturers of those technologies have the right to claim. However, we know that many farm businesses in the UK are eligible for R&D tax credits but aren’t currently claiming.

Activities that Qualify

To help understand the opportunity, here are three areas of activity that could qualify for R&D credits, but might be overlooked by farmers:

  1. Developing different processes to check their success: e.g. experimenting with new feed compositions or feeding techniques.
  2. Experimenting with bespoke technical solutions to solve a problem on the farm: e.g. implementing novel odour control methods.
  3. Appreciably improving technical solutions to increase their efficacy: e.g. improving an irrigation system to make it functional to the topography of your farm.

Even if a business’s attempts to innovate end up being unsuccessful they can still make a claim. So, if you’re unsure about whether you are eligible to claim then get in touch and one of our team will be able to advise.

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