Monday 11 October 2010

R&D tax relief - relaxation of rules finally making it into law soon

The Government has finally enacted (in Finance (No.2) Bill 2010, which will become Finance (No.3) Act 2010, a relaxation for small and medium-sized companies' (SMEs) R&D tax relief by removing the requirement that they own any intellectual property that results from the R&D.

The change was announced almost a year ago, and will apply to accounting periods ending on/after 9 December 2009 as a result - with the changes in government, it's taken a little while to come into law.

The change is a real advantage for SMEs that carry out sub-contract work for larger companies - until these changes take effect, neither the SME nor the large company could claim any relief because:
- an SME had to own the intellectual property resulting from R&D; and
- large companies can only claim a very limited amount of sub-contractor costs

The R&D still has to be qualifying R&D for the SME, so this doesn't mean all sub-contracted R&D will qualify for relief (for example, simple testing that is sub-contracted out may not be qualifying if it doesn't relate to the trade of the SME)

Remember that the R&D tax reliefs may change further as a result of the consultation due to start later this autumn on the UK's approach to taxing intellectual property - including R&D. Watch this space ...

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