Architecture shapes the world we live in. From schools to libraries, our homes to our workplaces, every building we inhabit in one way or another influences our way of living. The UK is renown on the world stage for its pioneering architecture, with some the best international practices based here. Such architects have helped to mould the identities of our cities and in turn created spaces which have helped to sculpt our lives.
As one of the most progressive and forward-thinking industries, innovation is at the very heart of architecture. It is an industry which constantly looks beyond itself, and in turn characterizes places, populations and periods in time.
A vast amount of everyday activity for those who work in architecture involves providing innovative solutions to technical problems. This innovation is being rewarded by the government through tax relief for companies that can demonstrate they are adopting new ways of doing things.
Though uptake is on the rise, a vast number of practices are still missing out on the benefits of R&D Tax Credits. Countless architects wrongly think that they are not entitled to R&D tax relief, or that only work exclusively carried out by their R&D department is eligible for relief. As such, even when architects do claim for R&D, it is often not being maximised due to misunderstanding HMRCs complex legislation.
Another factor blocking architectural practices from claiming is that many are structured as LLPs. Changes in taxation legislation mean that it is now potentially more advantageous to form a limited company. Regardless of whether the business is in profit or not, R&D tax relief is only available to limited companies. A change in company structure is something that should really be considered if your LLP is innovating.
Innovation in architecture
Technology plays a pivotal part in modern architecture and it’s often used as a tool to overcome problems or uncertainties. Take, for example, the growth of VR and 3D printing. They have revolutionised the way architects approach the designing and planning process. 3D printing has
enabled architects to construct and manufacture scalable models like never before, and we are literally able to print out full buildings using technology which was unheard of a decade ago.
Such technologies are enabling architects to push the boundaries of what is possible further and further, and in the process, great risks are being taken in the pursuit innovation. This element of risk-taking is a core component of R&D tax relief. Just take a look at what you’re doing on a day-to-day basis. You’re probably:
- Combining new technologies into buildings
- Carrying out computer-aided design (CAD) and building information modelling (BIM)
- Developing concepts, ideas, and designs
- Providing solutions to complex building designs
- Improving building/construction methods and using new materials
- Improving efficiencies
- Developing innovative designs
All of these activities could qualify for tax relief. So if you can identify with any of the above, it’s really time to start considering R&D Tax Credits. You could potentially be missing out on thousands of pounds.