Increasing the scope of R&D

Lindsey K Copland puts forward ideas to increase investment in research and development, by enhancing the tax relief rules

Since the inception of research and development (R&D) tax relief for SMEs in 2000 and for large companies in 2002, successive governments have enhanced the R&D tax relief and credit system on a piecemeal basis. Some changes have been pivotal, such as the transition to the R&D expenditure credit (RDEC) regime; others more simplistic, such as the one percentage point increases to RDEC. It must be said that other than the aim to increase the overall attractiveness and reward of the scheme, the changes have been unconnected and to a degree not part of any obvious strategy.