Push boundaries, explore new frontiers and stay ahead of the competition. Partner with the market-leading software R&D tax advisers and discover the difference our unrivalled team of software specialists can make.

R&D tax relief for software

R&D tax relief provides vital funding for many software businesses. As an industry where R&D intensity is a given, it’s important you make the most of this powerful incentive. With the demand for quality developers at an all-time high, materials shortages impacting hardware development, and ferocious competition at every turn, you need an R&D tax consultancy that will secure maximum value for your software innovation.
With these challenges existing at the same time as increased scrutiny from a compliance-focused HMRC, now is the time to review how you approach R&D tax relief and who you’re working with. Do you have the very best R&D partner? What value are they really delivering? And just how much are you missing out on? Whether you are new to claiming or on your tenth R&D claim, ForrestBrown is the number one choice. With a dedicated team of specialists with industry experience and a total commitment to efficiency and rigour, we deliver true value to ambitious software companies.

In your language

Your ForrestBrown team will include software sector specialists with decades of proven experience in your industry. This insight creates larger, more robust software R&D claims and saves you time. No need to simplify your work. You can talk to us on a peer-to-peer level.

On your terms

Whether you need an end-to-end software claim or a one-off consultancy project, ForrestBrown delivers outstanding results with optimal efficiency. Whatever support you need, our multi-disciplinary ForrestBrown team can support you.

Ahead of the curve

We don’t just advise on the incentive, we lead our industry. ForrestBrown is a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT). And we work tirelessly at the policy level to improve industry standards and contribute to software guidance.

Software R&D claim review

With HMRC scrutiny on software R&D at an all-time high, how confident are you in your claim? Get in touch with James Dudbridge for a comprehensive review of your claiming methodology.

Qualifying R&D in the software sector

Software development is an area of intensive R&D – both within software companies and for businesses developing software internally as part of wider transformation projects. Qualifying R&D in software can be found across those operating in AI, cybersecurity, Big Data, FinTech, as well as agency software.

Whether you’re writing, modifying, and testing software or designing systems that use hardware and software combined, our expert teams will help define project boundaries and identify all qualifying R&D costs. If proposed government changes to the incentive go ahead then cloud storage costs will also qualify for R&D tax relief. ForrestBrown has a proven track record of adapting to the latest guidance and operating at the leading edge of policy development.

Examples of R&D in software development include:


  • Using computer vision techniques to process, interpret and make decisions based on image or video input.
  • Categorisation and segmentation of large complex or variable datasets using machine learning techniques.


  • Developing tools and frameworks to analyse complex technology environments for potential threats and weaknesses.
  • Developing new biometric authentication tools.

Back-end development

  • Extending existing technologies or frameworks beyond their capabilities, such as CRM systems or JavaScript frameworks.
  • Integrating legacy systems with a custom API.
  • Developing novel data structures or data manipulation processes.


  • Developing complex cross-border remittance systems.
  • Developing technology that underpins investment in companies not large enough to be traded on the stock exchange.
  • Automation of customer-facing and back-office operations and use of blockchain or DLT.
Tom Heslin technical specialist
Key contact

Tom Heslin MSc

Associate Director

  • Leads our sector specialist team
  • Sat on the HMRC subcommittee that drafted software guidance for R&D tax relief
  • Master’s in Medical Image Computing

Software advice tailored to you

Want to be sure that all of your software R&D is being rewarded? Arrange a consultation with Tom Heslin or a member of his software-sector team today to make sure you’re getting maximum value.

Spotlight on DeepTech

DeepTech is one of the most exciting areas in the UK’s software industry. Investment has soared in this space as DeepTech companies continue to push boundaries in everything from quantum computing to AI and robotics.

As advances are made in DeepTech, they inspire developments across many fields, impacting IoT, medical devices, autonomous systems, clean tech, and cybersecurity as just some examples. ForrestBrown are excited to be supporting DeepTech businesses in using the R&D incentive to fund their explorations into an increasingly diverse range of application areas.

Digital transformation & internal software R&D

Digital transformation projects are becoming increasingly common as businesses modernise to overcome current and future challenges. At ForrestBrown, we’ve found that many businesses aren’t aware of the full scope of opportunity available around R&D tax relief for your internal software projects. Here are some examples of qualifying R&D for in-house software:

  • Developing or modifying control system software to improve production processes.
  • Creating AI software to make business efficiencies.
  • Creating a new software platform for managing workflow.
  • Adapting and improving existing technologies to suit the particular needs of the business.


Our approach

Software companies we’ve worked with

We are the preferred choice for many of the UK’s leading software houses, from cutting edge SaaS businesses to Big Data companies. Recognised for our technical prowess and deep sector knowledge, we’ve been able to match their ambitions and help fuel their growth. This includes growing in-house claims to transforming the impact of Big 4 claims, servicing large companies to disruptive start-ups, our experience is unrivalled: 

Meet our software R&D experts – assembling the best team

Our software sector specialists offer unparalleled insight into your R&D, drawing upon relevant industry experience across the entire software ecosphere. This includes cloud technology, games programming, big data, AI, databases and IoT.

Tom Heslin leads the software team at ForrestBrown and was part of the HMRC sub-committee that created the updated software guidance. He has a deep understanding of image processing techniques, applying mathematical and statistical formulae to large datasets and machine learning.

Our software experts work closely with our chartered tax advisers, accountants, and former HMRC inspectors to prepare your claim and analyse your costs. With HMRC scrutiny into software claims at an all-time high, our work is always checked by an in-house Quality Assurance team to mitigate the risk of a software R&D tax enquiry.

Tom Heslin technical specialist

Read more about

Tom Heslin MSc

Associate Director

Tree - sector specialist

Read more about


Senior Sector Specialist

Ben Wyatt

Read more about

Ben Wyatt LLB

Senior Sector Specialist

Read more about

Jenny Tragner CA ATT (Fellow)

Director & Head of Policy

James Dudbridge

Read more about

James Dudbridge LLB


Jayne Stokes

Read more about

Jayne Stokes ACA

Associate Director

Innovation in software – the value of R&D tax relief

Software development is all about time: how long it takes you to recruit the right talent, leverage new technologies, and take a product or service to market. Every minute is critical, especially in a fiercely competitive space. That’s why ForrestBrown focuses on efficiency and quality when it comes to our R&D tax services.

If you are preparing claims in-house or via low fee R&D advisers, you may be investing too much of your valuable time in the process. In such a competitive sector, you need to be confident that no costs are overlooked and that your claim is able to withstand scrutiny from HMRC. Enquiries can be stressful and time-consuming too, and every measure should be taken to avoid them. At ForrestBrown, we deliver robust R&D claims with minimal time investment from you and your engineers.

Why choose ForrestBrown

What does the best R&D tax advice for your business look like? The answer is specific to you. ForrestBrown will customise our service to match your requirements. Whether that’s handling your entire software R&D claim or supporting you with specific expertise on a consultancy basis.

R&D, especially in software, entails all sorts of different work. Don’t cram your diverse innovation into a rigid R&D tax service. ForrestBrown’s flexible approach helps save you time so that you benefit from a robust claim and better value for money.

Speak to us about your software R&D claim

If you’re concerned that you’re not getting value for money or wasting valuable time with your current provider or R&D claim set-up, then speak to ForrestBrown today. Combining next-level people-powered insight and a technology platform for ultimate efficiency, ForrestBrown helps the UK’s leading software businesses improve their R&D claims with minimal demands on their time. Don’t let complacency keep you from driving forward and staying ahead of the competition. We are a software R&D tax specialist that will propel your growth and fuel your ambitions.

Don’t wonder what if, find out why the UK’s leading software businesses partner with ForrestBrown.