This month we look at the requirements to meet the science and accounting tests.  These are defined in sections 8.1 and 8.2 of the Research & Development Tax Credit Guidelines (April 2015). However, a simple assessment method for companies to use to assess projects are the Five W’s and How.


  • Was undertaking which activities – the company, subcontractors, or universities?
  • What qualifications, skills, and experience did personnel working on the project have?


  • Were the R&D activities seeking to achieve?
  • Was the field of science?
  • Was the scientific or technological advancement being sought?
  • Were the scientific or technological uncertainties you were trying to resolve?
  • Was the hypothesis advanced?


  • Was the activity being undertaken?


  • Did the project start and finish?
  • Is there a project plan with milestones?
  • Can you evidence progress against this plan through dated documents e.g. emails/calendar entries?


  • Were the R&D activities being undertaken?
  • Was the solution not available in the public domain in this area?


  • Were the systematic investigations undertaken?
  • Is the investigation evidenced? E.g. dated trials, results, analysis, drawing/algorithm versions
  • Was it determined if the objectives were met?

For insights into the Irish R&D Tax Credit, Download Braithwaite’s R&D Guideline Booklet today…