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Staff costs often play a crucial part in any research and development (R&D) tax credit claim. So it's not surprising that HMRC expect to see good record keeping. That is usually fine when it comes to payroll costs, but it might be trickier when it comes to looking at what time employees spend on individual tasks.

With any R&D tax credit claim, you will be required to identify how much time your people have spent on research and development. If you are a first time claimant, you will probably not have this information at your fingertips.

This article looks at what is a reasonable level of record keeping for R&D tax credit claims and how it might differ for first-time claimants and those who claim annually. We also discuss whether HMRC will expect better record-keeping for R&D tax credits claims from businesses in the future.

If you’ve put off making an R&D tax credit claim because you are worried about how time consuming it will be, or that your record keeping is not up to scratch, this article will allay your fears.