Evidence, Evidence, Evidence! If there was ever an equivalent catchphrase in the R&D Tax Incentive to real estate’s ‘Location, Location, Location!”, that would be it.
For a lot of clients, finding evidence of the R&D work they are undertaking can be like a treasure hunt. Find a great piece of evidence, and you’ve hit treasure. Not knowing what constitutes treasure or not having a map that can lead you to various pots of gold can result in a much more frustrating activity.
Fortunately, here at Access RnD, we have rounded up a few pointers on how to go about your treasure hunt and what it is you should be on the lookout for:
- Reports – any kind of written up report on a test conducted. Formal test case results, inklings of how certain factors may influence the experiment, raw data measured from devices and equipment are all great examples of test reports.
- Pictures – pictures do tell a thousand words in the R&D application as well! If you snapped your product or process in action, include it. If you took photos of white board drawings depicting your experiment designs, that will work too.
- Videos – as with photos, a video recording of the product in action (and if you can do a voiceover while it is in progress), would be ideal. Some concepts are really difficult to explain and just showing what your experiment is about in the form of a video can eliminate ambiguity.
- Broken prototypes – sometimes things don’t go to plan and you end up with a busted prototype. This is actually great from an R&D claim perspective because it denotes failure – which demonstrates the technical risk you are encouraged to talk about in your application. Broken pieces of hardware, outcomes of a rogue software process, foul tasting food items…who knew all those items that were destined for the rubbish heap could actually be useful?
- Project documentation – whether it be meeting minutes, project plans, memos, voice notes, staff timesheets, run sheets or production sheets, these will often demonstrate that discussions regarding R&D work took place and often will contain details of any testwork conducted.
- Social media/marketing material – look through your previous social media posts, YouTube videos or other marketing material you may have created, including whitepapers, blogs or product descriptions. Often, these can form great examples of supplementary contemporaneous evidence.
Not only will having some of the above satisfy the eligibility criteria for applying for the R&D Tax Incentive, it will allow us to tell a fluent, cohesive R&D story.
Talk to us at Access RnD today to find out how we can help you setup and maintain effective record keeping systems.