R&D Tax Credits for Architects

Claiming R&D Tax Credits in the Architectural Sector

R&D Tax Credits for Architects? But we don’t do any R&D…

This is one of the most common reactions that we hear from architects when we introduce them to the R&D tax relief scheme. Whether they realise it or not, for many architects, R&D is just part of ‘business as usual’. Although they may be working on highly innovative solutions, and they may have heard of R&D tax credits, they often don’t consider it as something that applies to them.

We have helped a number of practices successfully claim R&D tax relief, and have developed a tried and tested process that maps the industry-standard RIBA stages onto the R&D Tax legislation.  In this way, we are able to use the information that you track anyway to support the R&D tax claim.

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Are you eligible for R&D tax relief?

  • Does your business employ less than 500 people and turnover less than £75 million?

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What Is The Key To an R&D Claim for Architects?

The first stage in determining whether valid R&D is being performed, is to assess which field of science or technology the claim would fall under. Completed projects that took place in the previous 2 financial years should also be looked at because claims can be made retrospectively for that period.

R&D tax credits for Architects

Architecture often combines multiple disciplines, where the design of a solution can incorporate social, environmental, political and aesthetic concerns as opportunities to build meaningful work. However, within the framework of the UK R&D tax legislation, we help our clients focus on the architectural engineering and technology aspects.

One of the key criteria in quantifying any R&D tax claim is in determining where the resolution of technological uncertainty occurs. As the starting point, we have found in many of our architects’ claims that this occurs through the imposition of unique constraints around what would otherwise normally be a standard solution.

This is often the result of environmental factors affecting the desired solution, such as thermal performance, structural characteristics, or specific materials and may subsequently require new and appreciably improved processes or solutions that will in turn qualify for the R&D relief.

It is also important that no non-qualifying activities are included within the claim and this is something that can often be challenging, as these are rarely tracked separately within a project, and therefore when making a case to HMRC as to why the work qualifies, we will work with you to ensure that only the eligible activities have been accurately costed and included in the claim.

Did you know?

  • Architecture is classified under the government's "Professional Services" sector

  • The total annual amount claimed in this sector is currently £525 million

  • The average annual amount for a single R&D claim in this sector is £129,000

  • Less than 2% of the annual R&D tax credits came from UK architectural firms