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Research: Tax Allowances

Question for Treasury

UIN 91084, tabled on 9 September 2020

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has in place to prevent organisations that benefit from research and development tax breaks from duplicating (a) their own and (b) other organisations’ research.

Answered on

21 September 2020

R&D tax credits are a key part of the Government’s support for innovative business investment and provided £4.4 billion to businesses across the UK in 2016-17. The Government does not place an obligation on organisations to publish any intellectual property which arises from their research.

Patents are publicly available and so any R&D that leads to a patent will be made public. It would be impractical to require greater disclosure than this; for example, it could potentially reveal trade secrets and it would also impose a significant administrative burden, both factors that would be likely to prevent companies from claiming.

In some circumstances the same work can attract research and development relief for more than one company, as is envisaged in paragraph eleven of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Guidelines regulations. These regulations specify which activities are to be treated as being research and development.

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