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Can I reuse a previous R&D tax credit claim?

You cannot reuse a research and development (R&D) tax credit claim. HMRC expect you to consider the eligibility of your qualifying R&D activities and expenditure each time you make a claim. And while a claim cannot be reused, if your work is continuing to resolve technological or scientific uncertainty, a single project can span many years.

It is not unusual for an R&D project to extend across multiple years. As long you continue to incur qualifying R&D expenditure on activities attempting to resolve scientific or technological uncertainty, a project can feature in more than one R&D tax credit claim.

You may adopt a consistent year-on-year approach to your claim methodology which might be reflected in the supporting documentation — albeit with different qualifying costs and descriptions of your R&D activity. But simply recycling your claim from one year to the next is likely to lead HMRC to ask questions about your preparation process; they may open an enquiry.

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