The Hidden Challenges of R&D Tax Credits and Grants

There is a myth that it’s not possible for one business to benefit from both R&D tax credits and grants. The reality is that these two funding sources actually have different purposes and are designed to provide a different type of support. As a result, they can work really well in tandem. However, if your business is looking to benefit from R&D tax credits and grants then there are some hidden challenges that it’s important to be aware of.

How do Grants and R&D Tax Credits Work?

  • Grants. A type of funding that can be used to offset the costs of projects that are in the pipeline. Usually, grants are made available where there is a particularly innovative product of service being designed and created. Grants are usually applied for in advance. The funding can often be accessed more quickly with a Grant Advance Loan.
  • R&D tax credits. A much broader spectrum of funding that is intended to be available to any business that is carrying out research and development. There is no requirement for that research and development to result in commercial success for R&D tax credits eligibility. The tax credits are claimed retrospectively.

Is it Possible to get Both?

If your business is eligible then yes it’s entirely possible to benefit from both a grant and R&D tax credits. However, it’s important to note that one can affect eligibility for the other in certain circumstances. What’s really key to have clarity on here is whether a grant you’re applying for (or have applied for) is classified as notified state aid. Because, where that’s the case, this excludes a claim under the SME R&D tax credits scheme. An R&D tax credit claim could still be made if the grant received was project specific. However, this would need to be made under the RDEC scheme, which is the less lucrative of the two.

What are the Hidden Challenges of R&D Tax Credits and Grants?

● Making the right applications. The first, and most obvious, challenge is to ensure that you’re not applying for a grant that could mean your business isn’t eligible to make an R&D tax credit claim under the SME scheme as a result. Whether a grant counts as notifiable state aid can be a complex area and it’s important to make sure you get the right advice so that you’re able to secure the funding that your business needs. If you’re not sure where you stand, it’s always best to seek expert advice.
● The timing of funds received. The second challenge is to ensure that the funding you received is being paid into your business at a time that will be beneficial. Grants are applied for in advance of the project beginning while R&D tax credits are paid out retrospectively. Getting the timing right on this can be critical to ensuring that you have the cash flow you need, when you need it. A Grant Advance Loan can be a simple way to solve this problem, as it allows for a proportion of the future funding to be paid to your business now.

Utilise Advance Funding

Grant funding and R&D tax credits have a lot to offer any innovative business. Hidden challenges exist but can simple to solve. Solutions such as SPRK’s R&D tax credit loan, or Innovation Term Loans can enable greater access to capital. Get in touch, and not only can you get assistance from our trusted advisors, but you can learn more about easing cash flow struggles with our R&D advance funding.



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