This site uses cookies to provide you with a more responsive and personalised service. By using this site you agree to our use of cookies. Please read our cookie notice for more information on the cookies we use and how to delete or block them.

Bookmark Email Print page

R&D services

HMRC Engagement 

Use Deloitte R&D specialists to secure swift agreement of your R&D claims through early and active engagement with HMRC. 

Deloitte R&D specialists worked closely with HMRC and the DTI as they developed their Research and Development guidance. Since then, our team have prepared and defended over 700 claims which has led to a deep understanding of how best to engage with HMRC to secure agreement.

Our multidisciplinary team of tax professionals, accountants, project managers and engineers has many years of experience of agreeing R&D claims with HMRC and is underpinned by the extensive experience of successful HMRC engagement across the wider Deloitte tax practice.

The Deloitte R&D Tax Team can support your engagement with HMRC by:

  • Facilitating early meetings to agree process and principles;
  • Assisting with written responses to enquiries;
  • Preparing for meetings to ensure all relevant points can be adequately addressed;
  • Accompanying and supporting your staff at face to face meetings, and
  • Negotiating mutually acceptable outcomes where compromise is required.

Our experience will ensure that your claim is prepared and agreed in the most efficient manner.

Back to top

Tax and Costing

Deloitte tax and accounting specialists provide market leading solutions to collate and analyse the financial data required to provide robust support for your R&D claim.

The R&D tax and costing team at Deloitte is comprised of tax and accounting experts with market leading experience in the complex costing issues that can accompany the preparation of R&D claims. 

Whilst the appropriate regime to apply is often clear cut, the starting point for many claims is consideration of the complex SME definition. Our team’s extensive financial and legal knowledge ensures that this complex EU guidance is fully considered and applied effectively.

The Deloitte R&D team offer clients a deep understanding of the complex tax rules behind the R&D relief and how they are applied in practice. Supported by an extensive knowledge of UK GAAP, IAS accounting and the mechanics of financial systems, our team are able to identify an efficient and practical approach to extracting the relevant data and identifying those costs that qualify for the relief.

Deloitte offer experience in developing and negotiating pragmatic approaches to the collation and analysis of data with HMRC for companies of all sizes and in a variety of different situations; for example where company records are incomplete, or where the number of eligible projects makes it unrealistic to review all project costs in detail.

The wider tax and accounting expertise of our team ensures that the multitude of associated issues such as tax capacity, transfer pricing implications, the availability of group relief, tax accounting/FIN48 issues and the capital v revenue distinction are given full consideration so that there are no unwelcome surprises at a late stage in the process. 

The preparation of robust supporting schedules with a full audit trail is essential to securing agreement of your claim and avoiding the risk of penalties. Achieving this requires a team with not just technical knowledge but also with a high level of tax and accounting knowledge.

Back to top


Deloitte technical specialists combine a deep understanding of technology with extensive knowledge and experience of the R&D eligibility criteria to maximise your claim value whilst minimising the disruption to your business. 

Many companies find that whilst the finance team have primary responsibility for the R&D claims they don’t have sufficient technical knowledge or expertise. The people who do understand the technology in the business very often have limited resources, little capacity to help with the process and do not have an in depth understanding of the criteria to be applied. This often results in too high a threshold being applied and consequently many eligible activities being excluded.

Our dedicated team of technical specialists includes software architects, chemists, pharmaceutical scientists, automotive industry experts and manufacturing engineers. An understanding of the science and innovation within your industry combined with the experience of applying the eligibility criteria to over 1,000 successful R&D claims since the introduction of the large company R&D scheme in 2002, makes the Deloitte R&D technical team uniquely placed to ensure an optimal analysis with minimal disruption to your technical team’s day to day activities.”

Having identified the areas of eligible activity, our technical team will conduct short interviews with your key technical personnel and draft supporting documentation for their review and sign off. At the same time, we will assist your technical personnel in determining the appropriate eligibility model for costing the claim. The level and depth of documentation required will be determined based on our extensive experience, and in many cases discussed in advance with HMRC, to ensure that there is an appropriate balance in the amount of support prepared.

Back to top

Project Management

The Deloitte approach to project managing the preparation of the R&D claim ensures a robust and time efficient process for your finance and technical teams. 

Conducting an in-depth review and analysis of a businesses R&D activities can be a time consuming and labour intensive process which can cause frustration for all parties. This often overlooked aspect of the claim process ensures that the right people are identified, their time is used most efficiently and that the structure and process of the claim preparation is tailored to the specific circumstances of your business.

As well as the project management principles of ensuring coordination and communication between (and amongst) the Deloitte and client teams, this area also covers core issues such as which sites to visit, which projects to review in detail, the form and content of the final documentation, the potential impact on other aspects of your tax position and the right time to engage with HMRC. How the overall team conducts its work can make a significant difference to the overall experience and consequently to the outcome of the work.

Deloitte offer a dedicated team with more than five years experience of working with client teams on R&D claims. Based on our extensive experience over many different industries and companies of all sizes, Deloitte has developed a best practice methodology which facilitates the claim preparation process in a seamless manner, underpinned by effective QA procedures to ensure a robust claim for submission to HMRC.

Whether the technical and costing work is undertaken principally by the Deloitte team or client personnel, the knowledge and experience of project managing R&D claims that Deloitte can offer will minimise the amount of time and resource it takes to complete the work. 

Back to top


A review of your claim approach and documentation by Deloitte will provide critical assurance and identify areas of potential risk. 

If your preference is to conduct a large part of the technical or costing work within your own teams, Deloitte offers a full review service which includes feedback, comments and suggestions on the methodology underlying your claim preparation, the costs claimed and the effectiveness of your supporting documentation. 

Because our team are all full time dedicated R&D professionals we are very familiar with a range of approaches and how to help your HMRC officer gain comfort that a claim has been well prepared, taking full account of the legislation and guidance available. Our approach to review, underpinned by a robust QA procedure, enables us to highlight areas where HMRC may have concern and suggest areas for improvement based on our extensive experience.

Our bespoke services include reviews of:

  • Technical documentation to ensure that it contains support for the associated scientific or technological advance and uncertainties;
  • Costing schedules to ensure that they only include those costs that qualify under the terms of the appropriate legislation and that any necessary adjustments have been made;
  • The overall process to ensure that the right people have been involved, a systematic approach adopted and any assumptions made are reasonable in the circumstances of your business
  • Company status to clarify whether or not your organisation meets the complex criteria for SME relief and is able to claim under the more generous regime.

Our review services can be tailored to your requirements to ensure confidence that your claim is robust.

Back to top

Systems and processes

Introducing well planned systems to capture information on a timely basis will ensure a smoother and more effective overall process. 

Whilst HMRC have often adopted a pragmatic approach to enquiries for historic claims they are expecting more detailed and contemporaneous work on the preparation of future claims. Where assumptions have been made to deal with issues around the availability of financial information or personnel, where there has been turnover, there is now an expectation that companies will develop systems to overcome such issues.

Deloitte’s unparalleled experience in this area means that we have the skills and knowledge to help you determine policies and procedures for capturing the necessary information contemporaneously and where possible, identifying eligible activities at the outset so that systems can be set up to collate the required data. This approach reduces the ongoing cost of preparing claims and ensures that disruption is minimised as the work is undertaken while information is fresh in your peoples’ minds.
Deloitte can undertake a review of your existing processes and advise on the design and implementation of the right system for you; a system tailored to produce accurate data on a timely basis that fits in with your busy reporting timetables.

Back to top


Training services provided for finance and/or technical departments will fully prepare them for the claim preparation, submission, agreement and enquiry process. 

If you have no history of submitting R&D claims, Deloitte can provide a comprehensive training workshop for both your technical and accounting teams. This training covers all aspects of preparing R&D claims including a briefing on the rules, application of the DTI guidelines, and a review of best practice in preparing, submitting and agreeing claims.

If you have already submitted claims and are continuing to do so using primarily internal resource it is essential that your teams are up to date with both the legislative changes and in the practical application of the rules. Deloitte can provide refresher training workshops providing high-level summaries wherever needed on, for example: the DTI guidelines, the SME definition, new legislation, approaches to costing, claim methodology, changes in practice and where appropriate a review of recent case law.

This offering can be utilised on a stand alone basis, combined with a Deloitte review of your outputs or made totally bespoke with, for example Deloitte providing training and review in the tax and costing area whilst undertaking the bulk of the technical work.

Back to top

Out-source / Co-source

Deloitte offer a flexible approach to suit your available time and resource. 

All of the services provided can be tailored to suit the needs of your organisations. The Deloitte R&D tax team have worked with companies of all sizes, and are therefore sensitive to the time and resources which clients may want to invest in their R&D claim.

In some cases, clients have preferred to out-source the entire process, but smaller organisations have preferred to select critical services which have assisted them in building a technical understanding while implementing a best practice approach.

Back to top

Global reach / Country expertise

Strategically manage your global R&D activity while capitalising on the Deloitte local country expertise. 

Many countries offer generous incentives to encourage Research & Development (R&D), and investments in innovation. R&D incentives vary from country to country in terms of the mechanics of making a claim, the level of benefit available and the approach adopted by the tax authorities in reviewing claims for relief. Within most jurisdictions offering R&D incentives, the benefit is delivered through a reduction in taxes payable or, in some countries where the credit provided cannot be used to offset tax payable due to losses, via a cash payment.

The Deloitte Touche Tomastu Limited global R&D network delivers an experienced team who provide insight on local regimes and the opportunities and risks which cross-border interactions bring for large multinational organisations.

Back to top

Share this page

Email this Send to LinkedIn Send to Facebook Tweet this More sharing options

Get in touch

More on Deloitte