SMEs’ research and development credit claims increase

THE NUMBER of small and medium sized enterprises claiming research and development tax credits grew by more than 10% in 2009/10, figures have shown.

The figures, released by HM Revenue & Customs, showed that there were 7,410 claims from SMEs for R&D credits and deductions in 2009/10, compared with 6,680 in 2008/09, a rise of almost 11%. The number of SMEs applying for payable credits increased from 580 to 890, while 4,780 SMEs claimed deductions from their corporation tax liabilities – up 600 from the previous year.

The number of claims from large companies remained the same – 2,280 this year, compared with 2,250 in 2009/10.

Cathy Corns, a partner at Mercer & Hole, suggested this could be indicative of more awareness about the scheme.

But she added there is some concern that the number of claims represented such a small percentage of the number of SMEs in the UK as a whole. The latest estimates from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Skills, published this month, showed there were 4,536,445 businesses in the UK with fewer than 250 employees.

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