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RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT AGRICULTURE

If your business is in the agriculture sector, there’s a strong chance that you could benefit from a Research and Development (R&D) incentives claim.

Farming is fundamental to human life and well-being.  Over recent decades being a farmer has become increasingly complex. There are new challenges to consider. Climate change brings increasingly extreme weather patterns. There’s also the pressure to become more sustainable.

   

Leading innovators such as James Dyson have joined the cause to develop new solutions to be able to feed our populations.  To quote James Dyson: ‘The future of farming will be all about research, science, developing new ways of doing things and developing new equipment…’

 

CHALLENGES FACING AGRICULTURAL BUSINESSES

If you work in this sector, you’ll be well aware of the challenges and the need to stay one step ahead of the game.  You could be creating innovative solutions to:

  • Improve yields
  • Deal with pests, disease and unpredictable weather
  • Reduce the use of chemicals, particularly as appetite grows for organic produce
  • Reduce energy costs, and even create sustainable energy solutions such as employing anaerobic digesters
  • Reduce manual labour by increasing automation.

The UK Government recognises these challenges and provides access to valuable tax reliefs such as the R&D incentives relief to encourage innovation.

WHAT TYPE OF AGRICULTURAL PROJECTS CAN QUALIFY FOR R&D TAX CREDITS?

If you can identify technology or science projects which meet the definition of R&D then you can potentially make a claim. You don’t need to be setting the world alight, but projects must meet two criteria:

Simply put, “Change” and “Challenge”.

For example, You may already be re-inventing and improving the way you do things and investing in areas such as:

  • Technology to create SMART / intelligent processes that optimise yields, picking, packaging, and crop care.
  • Science to explore areas such as hydroponics, vertical farming, the novel use of nutrients for both crops and livestock

These are just a few examples.

Please bear in mind, whenever you are thinking of changing something to improve a process or product, whether successful or not, you will be innovating.  The time and materials you invest in this innovation is likely to meet the R&D incentives criteria, and worthy of a discussion to make sure you are claiming the reliefs available to you.

WHY IS RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT IMPORTANT FOR THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR?

We speak to hundreds of businesses that think they don’t qualify for the relief, or potentially even worse know about the scheme but don’t realise the extent to which what they’re doing satisfies the breadth of the definition for tax purposes and hence are leaving valuable cash on the table, which makes the eureka moment sweeter.

If you can answer “yes” to both of the criteria mentioned above (are you changing anything? did you face some challenges in effecting those changes?), it’s time for us to have a chat, because R&D tax incentives are a fantastic way to keep your business and your cash flow on the front foot.

If you’re interested in finding out if you could claim these generous R&D tax credits, or if you’d like a second opinion on a claim you’re already making, we’d love to discuss it with you.

 

REBECCA PRINCE

R&D Incentives Senior Manager

If you’re interested in finding out if you could claim these generous R&D tax credits, or if you’d like a second opinion on a claim you’re already making, we’d love to discuss it with you.

E: rebeccap@cooperparry.com

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