Figures published by HMRC have revealed that the total number of claims for R&D tax credits has increased by 20%.
The latest figures cover the 2017-18 tax year, and show that 48,635 R&D tax credit claims were made. 42,075 of these were made by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), whilst 7,285 were made by large businesses.
According to HMRC, a total of £4.3 billion of R&D tax relief was claimed in 2017-18, corresponding to £31.3 billion of R&D expenditure.
HMRC found that R&D claims were concentrated in companies with a registered office in London, the South East or the East of England. It stated that the regional split was based on the registered office location, so 'may not be where all of the R&D activity took place'.
The data also revealed that the most common way for SMEs to claim R&D tax credits is by making a deduction from corporation tax liability. 23,640 claims were made this way in 2017-18. Just 7,600 claims were made for a payable credit.