Manufacturing industry claims £1.5bn in R&D tax credits

Access2Funding analyses HMRC's R&D tax credits statistics, released today, and the key highlights for the manufacturing industry.

The manufacturing industry made the second highest number of research and development (R&D) tax credits claims for the year 20/21, according to HMRC's latest R&D tax credit statistics, analysed by tax relief specialist Access2Funding, a Ryan company.


A total of 18,795 claims were submitted, representing a 3% increase from the previous year, and totalling £1.5 billion. This is a number that will continue to grow as the 20/21 claims window remains open for claims until March 2023.

Manufacturing businesses accounted for 21% of the total number of UK claims, with the average manufacturing R&D claim worth £80,000, compared to £89,000 in 19/20. For SMEs, the average claim dropped from £52,000 to £50,000.

With regards to other sectors in the report, taking top spot with number of claims was the Information and Communications sector, at 22%, closely followed by Professional, Scientific and Technical at 19%.

A total of 89,300 claims throughout all industries were made overall up until 31 March 2021, with 78,825 claims from SMEs.

Nigel Holmes, Director of Tax at Ryan, said: "It's refreshing to see how the manufacturing industry was able to maintain momentum during the Covid-19 pandemic, with more claims made, however it is not surprising to see a reduction in the total value of claims and a 15% decrease in R&D expenditure as businesses were unable to carry out normal levels of R&D activity.

"Manufacturing SMEs have particularly weathered the storm, with 3% more SMEs claiming in 20/21 than 19/20 - reflecting the resilience of the industry and its ability to adapt and overcome.

"As with the UK's current financial pressures, R&D tax relief can help offset other rising costs and help stabilise future business growth, and manufacturers have shown they are in a great position to continue to go up against anything that is thrown at them and ensure that R&D is at the heart of a successful economy."

The average claim value across the UK is sitting at approximately £74,000, or £54,000 for SMEs. There has been a 7% increase in the provisional estimated amount of claims made compared to last year, from 85,900 to 89,300, driven by a 7% rise in the number of R&D claims made by SMEs.

Tax relief specialist Access2Funding is supports businesses across the UK with accessing innovation tax relief and in 2021 helped return a total of £17 million to businesses.

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