Research and development (R&D) tax reliefs can be very generous for small companies, giving a deduction of 230% of qualifying costs. However the categories of expenditure which qualify for R&D relief were defined over 20 years ago and do not include costs of a typical internet based business.
From April 2023 cloud computing and data costs will be qualifying expenditure categories for R&D relief. These are both very broad concepts and we will have to wait for guidance from HMRC and the new law to determine exactly what will be allowed.
The R&D tax relief scheme has unfortunately been the target of abuse and fraudsters and the Government intends to clamp down on such abuse and improve compliance through various measures, including limiting the R&D tax relief to work undertaken in the UK.
More detail on the new conditions for R&D tax relief is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.