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There are two schemes, one for large companies and another for SME’s. The SME scheme gives relief on qualifying costs of 26p in the £ and up to 32p for companies with losses.
Your company must be eligible for Corporation Tax (which usually means you need to be a Limited Company)
You must have fewer than 500 employees
You must have an annual turnover of less than £100 million and total assets worth less than £86 million
For larger companies HMRC have now made the large company scheme much more advantageous by introducing the Research & Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC). This allows larger companies from the 1st April 2013 to recognise the benefit of their research and development spend effectively as a grant against cost. Loss makers are also now able to claim cash back from HMRC. Unlike the existing schemes which only had a cash value if the company was paying Corporation tax, the new credit is payable regardless of the tax position.
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