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    R&D tax credits statistics 2021 – everything you need to know

    HMRC’s latest statistics detail the number of companies claiming R&D tax credits up to the year ending March 2020, the amounts paid out in R&D support as well as the number of claims by industry sector, plus much more. The statistics show that the total number of R&D tax credit claims increased by 16%, with first-time SME claimants increasing by 25%.

    The government had made it clear that they continue to be eager to support companies who are prioritising and investing in innovation in order to boost the economy.

    In our latest blog, we highlight what these statistics mean for UK businesses.

    Increasing number of R&D tax credit claims made

    The year ending March 2020 saw a 16% increase in the total number of R&D tax credit claims made – over 85,900. The increase is said to be primarily driven by a 16% rise in the number of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) making R&D claims to a total of 76,225 – highlighting that SMEs continue to make R&D projects a priority, driving forward innovation.

    How much R&D tax relief was paid out by the government?

    Over £7.4 billion in tax relief was paid out by the government in the year ending March 2020 – up 19% from the previous year. Again, SMEs received the most support, with £4.4 billion worth of funding compared to larger companies, who claimed payments of £3.1 billion.

    Which industry claimed the most R&D tax credits?

    Accounting for 64% of all claims made, the industries which claimed the most R&D tax credits were:

    • Information and Communication (22%)
    • Manufacturing (22%)
    • Professional, Scientific and Technical (19%)

    Although, 49% of all claims were made by companies with registered offices in London and the South East, the North West was not far behind – positive news for the region.

    To summarise…

    The latest statistics from HMRC are very encouraging – proving that R&D is still very much a priority for many SMEs and large companies. Additionally, the number of R&D claimants is expected to grow year on year, as the need for further innovation to boost the economy grows.

    If you are unsure if you are eligible for R&D tax credits, or would like our assistance to submit a claim, get in touch with one of our expert advisers by emailing

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