R&D SME Scheme

Our team can help small to medium enterprises claim valuable research and development tax credits through HMRC’s R&D SME Scheme.

Request our April 2023 R&D Changes Resource Toolkit

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    Is the SME R&D Scheme right for my business?

    If you’re a small/medium enterprise carrying out R&D and looking for tax relief, HMRC needs to see that you meet these key thresholds:
    ·       Staff headcount is less than 500
    ·       Turnover is less than €100m, or your balance sheets total less than €86m (regardless of your headcount).*

    *You will need to convert turnover from sterling to euros.
    If you pass these criteria, and you’re a UK limited company that’s subject to UK corporation tax, then it’s likely that you’ll qualify. If you don’t meet these criteria, but you’re still conducting R&D, you can still look to claim under the Research and Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC).

    How much can I claim under the R&D SME Scheme?

    Before April 2023 expenditure

    For expenditure before April 2023, the R&D SME Scheme allows companies to claim up to 33% of research and development costs. This is because if your SME is profitable, you can deduct an extra 130% of qualifying R&D costs from yearly profits. This is on top of the normal 100%, making a total 230% deduction. If you’re not profitable, that’s also okay! If you are loss making, you can claim up to 14.5% of the surrenderable loss.

    April 2023 changes

    For expenditure on or after April 1 2023, the additional deduction for SMEs will decrease from 130% to 86%, and the SME R&D Tax Credit rates will reduce from 14.5% to 10%. If, however, your company is loss making but classed as R&D intensive (where qualifying R&D spend adds up to at least 40% of total spend) you’ll still be able to claim using the 14.5% credit rate.

    Try our R&D Tax Calculator and find out how much you can claim

        Please provide the annual costs below

        if any of these costs is not applicable, please enter 0 in its field.

            *By clicking next you accept the terms and conditions.


            You could claim a corporate tax reduction of:

            £ 000 000*


              You could claim tax credit between:

              £ 00,000.00*and£ 00,000.00*

              Or You could claim a corporate tax reduction in future years of:

              £ 00,000*

              Based on the information you provided, You might not be eligible to R&D tax credit.

              However, you might be qualified for one of our other services.

              Thank you for your time

              Someone from our team will contact you

              No. of UK businesses Leyton supported: 6258
              Average benefit per client (£): 49 000
              % of UK claims submitted by Leyton: 11%

              How does an R&D project qualify for the SME Scheme?

              To qualify for the R&D SME Scheme, your project must:

              ·      Look for an advance in science and technology
              ·      Face uncertainty with achieving this advance
              ·      At least have tried to overcome the uncertainty
              ·      Not be easily worked out by a professional in the field

              What costs are eligible for tax relief under the R&D SME scheme? 

              There are a variety of different costs that qualify for R&D relief. These include:

              ·       Consumables
              ·       Salary
              ·       Externally provided workers (EPW)
              ·       Software licences
              ·       Sub-contractors

              From April 2023, it will also be possible to claim for pure mathematics, cloud computing, licence payments for datasets and data analytics. 
              Some costs can’t be claimed. These include:

              ·       Production and distribution costs
              ·       Capital expenditure on buildings and equipment
              ·       The cost of land
              ·       The creation of patents and trademarks.

              Why work with Leyton?

              • Leyton is the largest, independent R&D tax consultancy in Europe with the highest volume of R&D tax claims across the UK.
              • Leyton is a member of the HMRC consultative committee for R&D incentives. As a result we meet with the HMRC team overseeing R&D quarterly.
              • Our experienced technical consultants are educated to MSc/PhD level with 5+ years in industry, with field experience across a range of software, science and engineering industries.
              • We’ll work closely with your business to identify your eligible R&D expenditure while ensuring your claim is fully compliant with HMRC rules.

              Our process


                Consultancy team introduction and key claim stakeholder identification. Basic R&D eligibility assessment and delivery timeline agreed.

                Financial Discovery

                Introduction to expenditure categories, R&D project expenditure data provision, financial document provision.

                Technical Scoping

                Review and discussion of all eligible projects, selection of key project(s) for claim substantiation (case study).

                Financial Discovery

                Introduction to expenditure categories, R&D project expenditure data provision, financial document provision.

                Claim Package

                Compilation of technical and financial documentation, internal quality audit and resolution of queries.


                Final documentation sign-off, tax benefit option agreement, detailed submission guidance and additional submission support.

              Talk to our R&D Tax specialists

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