R&D Tax Relief & Patent Box

Created to encourage UK companies to innovate and capitalise on their IP, R&D and Patent Box tax relief can be highly beneficial but complicated to claim. At AAB, we go beyond just having accountants on your R&D claims—we include engineers too. This unique combination of technical expertise and financial precision ensures we maximise your benefits and keep you compliant.


Derek Gemmell

Corporate Tax Partner & Head of Innovations Tax

Who we can help

  • SMEs

How we can help

  • Preparation of claim for enhanced tax relief for R&D expenditure
  • Patent Box claims
  • Planning to maximise R&D and Patent Box claims
  • Assistance in dealing with HMRC on R&D and Patent Box

R&D tax relief offers the benefit of recouping much of the money you have invested in researching your innovation, while Patent Box tax relief reduces the rate of Corporation Tax on your income from your licensed patents.   

While both reliefs are attractive, it can be complex to claim them. We have a strong track record in negotiating the qualifying process and agreeing successful R&D claims with HMRC, to deliver very worthwhile tax savings for companies. Our team of both accountants and engineers ensures your claims are robust and precise. 

Similarly, we have also utilised the available Patent Box reliefs to reduce the effective tax rate on commercial transactions, so our clients benefit from a greater return on their IP.  


Our unique approach combines the expertise of both engineers and accountants to ensure your R&D claims are thorough and successful.

Our engineers play a crucial role in identifying which projects qualify as R&D activities, ensuring they meet tax authority criteria. They provide detailed technical documentation, explaining the advancements and uncertainties involved, and assess the direct and indirect costs associated with your projects. This technical rigor ensures your claims are justified and compliant with the latest guidelines, minimising the risk of rejections or audits.

Meanwhile, our accountants compile and organise all financial records related to your R&D activities, calculate the eligible tax credits or deductions, and prepare the overall R&D tax relief claim. They integrate the technical documentation provided by our engineers with the financial data, ensuring the claim adheres to all relevant tax laws and regulations.

By combining the strengths of our engineers and accountants, we can provide an unparalleled comprehensive R&D tax relief service that addresses your needs and challenges, maximising your benefits and ensuring compliance.

Talk to us about R&D Tax Credit Claims


R&D Tax Relief allows innovating companies to claim tax relief for qualifying expenditure on their innovations. Relief for SMEs is currently at 230%, so every £1 of qualifying expenditure gains an additional £1.30 of tax relief. Larger companies could reduce their corporation tax liability or receive a repayment from HMRC by making a claim.  

There’s a common misconception that R&D tax relief is only available for scientific research, but that’s not the case. Innovation in any sector can qualify for R&D tax relief. If you’re creating new products, services, materials or processes or modifying existing ones, you are likely to be eligible. 


Loss-making companies often feel the only benefit they’ll obtain is increased losses carried forward. However, qualifying SMEs can surrender losses for a repayment from HMRC. Also, R&D tax relief can still be claimed even if there is no economic risk to the claimant, as their costs are covered by a grant or other funding.  

Companies sometimes think their R&D wasn’t successful enough, their business is too small or applying for relief takes up too much time. As specialists, we can dispel these myths. The key is that the R&D project must aim to overcome uncertainty to deliver an advance in a field of science or technology. We can even help if your R&D project failed, as you may still be able to claim tax relief.  

As we said previously, wWe address these challenges by combining the expertise of both engineers and accountants. Our engineers identify and document qualifying projects, ensuring they meet the technical criteria set by tax authorities. They provide detailed descriptions of the R&D activities and assess associated costs, ensuring technical compliance. Meanwhile, our accountants compile financial records, calculate eligible tax credits, and prepare and submit the claims, ensuring all regulatory requirements are met. 

This collaborative approach ensures that your R&D claims are both technically robust and financially accurate, maximizing your benefits and ensuring compliance with HMRC guidelines​. 

Find out if you’re eligible for R&D tax relief


R&D Tax Relief is aimed at SMEs. Determining whether your company qualifies can be complicated, because you’ll need to consider your whole group structure, plus the implications of sub-contracting arrangements. Using our years of experience of making successful claims, we can:   

  • Confirm your eligibility.   
  • Identify your qualifying projects and expenditure.  
  • Establish the rate of relief.  

We’ll handle the submission to HMRC with our tried and tested format and deal with any queries they might have. We’ll help secure payments and most importantly, we’ll maximise your claims to reduce the overall cost of your project.  

If your company holds your own qualifying patents and they are generating a profit, you should be able to benefit from Patent Box tax relief, which reduces the Corporation Tax applied to them to 10%. We can still claim for you if your qualifying patent is pending. The tax relief will accrue and be paid when the patent is granted.  

Our specialist innovations tax team will:  

  • check your company or relevant group member has the necessary qualifying IP rights.  
  • check that the patent(s) have been granted by one of the approved patent offices.  
  • help you identify the income you derive from your patents, to calculate your claim. 

The qualifying rules are becoming more complex and the additional work involved may seem a deterrent. We suggest you talk to us, as the benefits might still sufficiently outweigh any extra costs involved.  

How can we help?

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