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R&D tax credits for the construction industry

When we think about construction, we tend to think in terms of design and aesthetic outcomes rather than the engineering advances. But it is those head-scratching moments that are needed for those buildings to be realised that come from R&D.




million in claim value


Average claim value

Source HMRC R&D tax credits statistics 2023

The statistics published by HMRC for 2021-22 are provisional and have been uplifted to include estimates for claims not yet received.

What qualifies as R&D in the construction sector?

We see qualifying R&D activity in the innovative use of green or sustainable methods. R&D often leads to an improvement in existing construction techniques to solve site specific or environmental issues or developing new products such as lighter weight, stronger, resilient or easier-to -process building materials.

This sector includes the following types of business.

  • Residential construction
  • Commercial construction
  • Civil engineering

Yes, construction companies can claim under either scheme depending on their size and other deciding factors. Of the R&D tax relief claims made in 2021-22 so far, 94% of them were under the SME scheme equating to 76% of the value claimed.

Yes, construction companies that have already claimed for R&D tax credits might find that they could claim even more by applying for the Patent Box scheme. In 2021-22, so far, only 55 companies elected into Patent Box, claiming £5 million in benefit.

Construction sector businesses

Building companies

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