Activities That Qualify For R&D Tax Credits In Agriculture

The scope of eligible activities is incredibly broad

Farmers and agricultural companies all over Ireland are highly innovative in their nature. Year in, year out, they’re constantly undergoing research and development activities that can easily attract R&D Tax Credits. But so many simply don’t realise it, and are therefore missing out on a crucial source of government funding.

R&D Tax Credits in brief

R&D Tax Credits are designed to encourage spending on research and innovation by footing a large percentage of the bill.

The scheme is open to all Irish companies regardless of size or sector, as long as projects originally sought to make an advance in science or technology.

There are commonly three different areas of activity where agricultural organisations may benefit:

  • Experimenting with bespoke technical solutions that solve a particular challenge. This could be something like odour control for example.
  • Developing different processes, such as experimenting with feeding techniques or new feed compositions.
  • Appreciably improving technical solutions to make them more efficient. An example would be improvements to an irrigation system so that it better suits the topography of a piece of land.

R&D Tax Credits can be claimed even if the project was unsuccessful or later abandoned, as long as it was carried out in Ireland or elsewhere in the EEA.

How much can be claimed?

Relevant R&D expenditure will generate a tax credit of up to 25% tax credit. This is used to offset part of a company’s Corporation Tax bill, in addition to the standard tax deduction of 12.5%. It’s this that makes the scheme so valuable, as in effect eligible activities can claim a Revenue rebate of €37.50 for every €100 of R&D expenditure.

It’s a fantastic opportunity that’s actually existed since the early 2000s. And with COVID-19 and Brexit uncertainties bubbling away can make a huge difference in these incredibly challenging times. See the R&D Tax Credits page for more details.

Types of eligible agricultural projects

There’s a huge range of projects within the agriculture sector that will qualify for R&D Tax Credits. We’ve known of farmers and agricultural companies to make successful claims having tackled crop disease prevention, the maximisation of animal feed production, and the development new methods of crop planting. Some have also collaborated with tech start-ups in testing new drone technology, sensors or smart software.

The R&D Tax Credits scheme is a generous incentive indeed, with average claims sitting at around €55,000. But thousands of farmers are still missing out, often simply because they’re unaware their R&D work qualifies.

These are some of the other common research and development projects that are highly likely to attract R&D Tax Credits:

  • Fertiliser development and testing
  • Various aspects of pest control
  • Adaption of atmospheric conditions, for example the optimisation of chicken coops or silage wrap
  • Investment in the internet of things (IoT)
  • Development of new machinery (or parts of machinery), or adapting existing ones
  • Devising new methodologies that maximise crop yield
  • Creating health products to assist with the health and maintenance of livestock, for example feed supplements
  • Designing or improving processes to reduce and/or reuse waste products. Biofuels is a particularly prominent example.

The challenge is in spotting the opportunities

You may be asking yourself which specific projects and costs will attract R&D Tax Credits and which won’t. Indeed, how are you supposed to know?

Over-claiming R&D Tax Credits is incredibly easy to do, where cost and activities are erroneously included in a claim submitted to Revenue. This is a bad move, as Revenue officers will go through everything with a fine tooth comb and if there are any issues they’ll want to know more. Sometimes they can even launch an enquiry into your wider tax affairs.

Conversely, it’s just as easy to under-claim too. Some claimants are so nervous of claiming for things they shouldn’t that they leave out costs that actually do qualify. Others simply don’t realise their expenditure is relevant in the first place.

This is why it’s so important to use the Tax Cloud portal

Completing an R&D Tax Credits claim is fiddly, resource intensive and time consuming. It’s easy to make an expensive mistake and Revenue updates the guidelines often. That’s why, back in 2017, the Tax Cloud portal was developed and launched by the Dublin-based R&D funding experts at Myriad Associates.

The fact is we deal solely with R&D Tax Credits and wider R&D funding such as grants. It’s what we do day in, day out, making us market-leading specialists in our field. Having worked alongside company owners, executives, directors and business accountants alike, we understand the intricacies of the claims process, which is how the Tax Cloud portal came to life.

How it works

The Tax Cloud portal provides a cost-effective, handy online tool that makes claiming R&D Tax Credits easy. Not only can you complete your claim remotely whenever you like, but being cloud based it’s always accessible from any online device - so no bits of paper to lose. It’s much less expensive than our full service too, and you only pay us when your claim is successful and the benefit has been received.

Claiming R&D tax credits with Tax Cloud is a simple step-by-step process

Step 1: Sign up free by entering your company name. We will then verify your details automatically.

Step 2: Describe the R&D that has been undertaken and enter the costs. Our expert team will then check what you’ve written and make sure it does indeed definitely qualify. You won’t be able to go any further until we’ve done this, so no time is wasted in the event your project isn’t eligible.

Step 3: Next you’ll need to compile your technical report. Again this will be reviewed and commented on by our experts before you take the next step. On each page of there’s also a help button should you need to ask us a question.

Step 4: The final step is downloading your completed application. Tax Cloud will take your project narrative and figures and create your claim report which we’ll then send over for your final approval. When you’re happy, we’ll submit it to Revenue on your behalf and if commissioners raise any questions we’ll deal with them for you too.

Sounds easy?

It is - and far preferable to going it alone.

Sign up to the Tax Cloud portal today or call us on +353 1 566 2001.

Barrie Dowsett, ACMA, GCMA
Author Barrie Dowsett, ACMA, GCMA CEO, Tax Cloud
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  • Over €10m claimed and counting
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Meet some of the team behind Tax Cloud

Barrie Dowsett Barrie Dowsett ACMA CGMA Chief Executive Officer
Jillian Chambers Jillian Chambers Technical Analyst/Writer
Lauren Olson Lauren Olson Technical Analyst Manager
Rabia Mohammad Rabia Mohammad Corporate Tax Associate