Claiming R&D Tax Credits as a Web Developer

In the web development industry where survival is tough and every pound is strategically spent, it’s more important than ever to know your tax entitlements for your business to advance.

Yet many web developers are failing to claim substantial amounts of research and tax credits each year, believing instead that they are not eligible to claim.

However, the ever-evolving digital age in which web developers operate frequently offer opportunities to claim R&D tax credits, and with good reason – because research and development into digital processes shouldn’t be stifled; it should be explored.

Mobile devices, applications, e-commerce processes, content management systems and unique client requests are pushing web developers to research and attempt new and innovative ways of working – all of which fall into the R&D tax bracket.

So the question is, can you as a web developer claim R&D tax credits?

Am I Eligible to Claim R&D Tax Credits as a Web Developer?

In order to claim R&D tax credits as a web developer, you must have attempted or succeeded in making an advance (or appreciable improvement) in science or technology.

For a web developer, this could include new software, data processing, algorithms, reducing system overheads, integrating legacy apps or even new processes behind existing developments. If you’re attempting to create a new system or process that is complex and takes a considerable amount of effort to achieve, then there’s a good chance you can claim R&D tax credits for this work.

And of course, why not claim – the purpose of R&D tax claims is to provide an incentive for companies to explore new advancements with technology and digital processes, not just for their own business, but to benefit the whole industry and attract interest from overseas investors into the UK economy.

An Example of a Web Developers R&D Tax Claim

To appreciate what is involved in claiming R&D tax, here is a summarised example of a genuine, successful claim, made by a web developer through R&D Tax North West Ltd:

Background: A request had been made to a web developer for a custom built e-Commerce system that had the ability for customers to design products both online and offline using a mobile device and with the same functionality on a standalone touch-screen kiosk. The client did not want a separate app for customers to download, but did require that any designs made should be saved and sent as a layered print ready PDF document.

Development: At the beginning of the development there existed no ‘off-the-shelf’ program that had the capabilities to provide a user-friendly design experience on a mobile device that had the ability to convert saved designs into a layered PDF. Therefore, a new eCommerce platform would need to be developed that could work with mobile devices, desktops and a standalone kiosk.

Troubleshooting: Extensive testing was required to support development of seamless image rescaling that required a bespoke scaling algorithm and the conversion of the saved design into a layered PDF; something that web browsers are unable to achieve.

Research was then conducted into developing the right code which could accurately identify, place and order layers of an image in an appropriate standard for a sublimation print process.

Further research and testing was needed to implement this on the standalone kiosk that experienced a variety of issues, depending on which internet browser was used. This required the development of a hybrid bespoke browser and modifications to the computer operating system.

Result: Performance monitoring and review of the new eCommerce system is being conducted for understanding of how to improve and enhance the user experience. Further research will be conducted on the effects of network behaviour, data transfer and upscaling algorithms for optimum image quality and speed.

As you can see by the web developer R&D tax claim, extensive research and testing was conducted for the implementation of an eCommerce system not yet available.

The original tax claim includes further details and an in-depth explanation of the tasks and research conducted at the time and expense of the business. The result was a successful claim for R&D tax credit relief through a corporation tax refund.

How to Claim R&D Tax Credits as a Web Developer

If you’ve had a similar experience researching, testing and attempting to improve processes or systems for web development within the past two years, you could qualify for R&D tax credits, even if you didn’t meet with complete success.

For a straightforward way to learn if any projects you have been involved in as a web developer are eligible for R&D tax credits, all you need to do is contact R&D Tax North West who hold a strong track record for supporting web developers to claim R&D tax credits.

To contact R&D Tax North West, simply call 01827 338118 or complete a brief contact form today.


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