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Definition of R&D

Meaning of para 6 DBIS Guidelines

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Paragraph 6 of the Guidelines on the meaning of research and development for tax purposes states:

"An advance in science or technology means an advance in overall knowledge or capability in a field of science or technology (not a company’s own state of knowledge or capability alone)."

What does the part in brackets mean?

If a company develops a process but doesn't disclose it to the outside world it seems to me that it is only the company's knowledge that has advanced. Does this mean that the activity is not R&D? If not, why not please?

Am I missing the obvious?


Thanks in advance.

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By tom123
19th Jun 2020 10:58

I think the general idea is (and I am paraphrasing) to rule out claims where relatively unskilled staff have 'learned' something that any normal person in that sector would easily know.

So, whilst you don't have to be world beating in order to claim, you do have to have made an advance that would not be immediately obvious to a sufficiently trained person almost as soon as they walk in off the street.

It can still be confidential.

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By mhkay
18th Sep 2020 11:05

My reading is that you're supposed to be doing something that is genuinely new, not just playing catch-up with the competition. But it's very fuzzy.

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