Tax R&D change tracker
A summary of the UK R&D tax changes from 2000 to 2024

April 2024

  • The research and development expenditure credit (RDEC) and medium-sized enterprises (SME) scheme will be merged. Tax paid on the credit for loss-making companies will be reduced to 19%
  • Earlier plans to restrict subcontracted activities to UK-based entities, making overseas work ineligible, are now expected to be implemented from April 2024
  • Companies will be required to include a named internal R&D contact who will take responsibility for the submission, and must therefore have a strong grasp of its details

December 2023

  • Markel’s insurance data predicts that by the end of 2023, investigations into R&D claims will have risen by a staggering 900% from the levels seen in 2019

August 2023

  • All claims now need to be filed to HMRC through a new online form. For some, it will introduce a significant increase in the amount of detail that needs to be provided

July 2023

  • Draft legislation was unveiled in July 2023 following consultation with industry stakeholders

April 2023

  • The RDEC scheme credit increased from 13% to 20%, while the SME scheme was cut by about a third, from 130% to 86% relief. SME credit was also reduced by about a third, from 14.5% to 10%
  • The legislation now allows pure mathematics, cloud computing and hosting costs used for the purposes of R&D to be claimed for as R&D projects


  • Two years later, a similar scheme for larger companies was added


  • The first R&D tax relief scheme, available to SMEs, was introduced