SME and RDEC? What is RDEC?

What is RDEC?


RDEC (research and development expenditure credit) is a UK government tax incentive designed to support innovative companies investing in research and development (R&D). It is primarily used by large companies and by SMEs in some circumstances, such as if they’re been awarded grant funding.


One of the benefits of RDEC claims is that they can be accounted for above-the-line in your income statement (also known as your profit-and-loss account), providing a positive impact on visible profitability in your accounts. This visibility has a positive impact on R&D investment decisions.




As an SME, you should be interested in investigating if you qualify for RDEC. This requires that:

  1.     You have received a grant or subsidy
  2.     You have carried out subcontracted R&D on behalf of a large business


SMEs often miss out on claiming R&D Tax Credits if they have received a grant, as there is a misconception that they cannot claim. Accepting a grant can restrict access to the R&D Tax Credit scheme, but does not exclude you from RDEC.


Additionally, if you have been subcontracted by a large company you can claim via RDEC for this expenditure. However, if you are working for another SME they will claim for these activities. Before claiming it is important to assess the nature of your subcontracting agreement and who owns the R&D.


Qualifying expenditure


There are defined categories of R&D expenditure that can be included within an RDEC R&D Tax Credit claim:


  1.     Staff costs, including salaries, employer’s NIC and pension contributions, as well as some reimbursed business expenses
  2.     Money spent on Externally Provided Workers (EPWs) and some subcontractor costs
  3.     Expenditure on consumables and materials like light, power and heat that are used up or transformed in the R&D process
  4.     Some types of software costs
  5.     Money paid to clinical trial volunteers
  6.     Contributions to independent research


Reach Out


If you have a disruptive enterprising project or innovation, why not contact us? A brief chat with one of our innovation consultants will help you determine whether grant funding could get your project off the ground.


Why use grant funding experts?


Although there are many benefits to seeking grant funding, the thought of applying can be confusing, time-consuming and stressful. Using the creative and technical skills of a professional Innovation grant writing consultancy will strengthen your business in translating technologies and business models into a language and format assessors understand; increasing the chance of success. If you have a disruptive ambitious project or innovation, why not contact Capti Innovation.