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R&D Marine Tax Credits

Along with businesses in the aviation and aerospace industries, companies in the marine and maritime sector are not always aware they can be eligible to claim R&D tax credits. However, innovative businesses which undertake ambitious projects with the aim of making technological advancements are likely to qualify for tax relief on the costs they incur when carrying out such experiments.

The research and development work does not even need to be successful in order for R&D tax credits to apply, as long as genuine efforts have been made to find a new solution to overcome scientific or technical challenges.

What activities qualify for R&D marine tax relief?

  • Developing new shipbuilding processes and methods
  • Creating a new marine mechanical product or appreciably improved maintenance service
  • Developing a new propulsion system or designing hydrodynamics to make a boat faster
  • Building cleaner engines or designing marine fuel cells
  • Creating and implementing an improved method for processing bilge water aboard cruise liners
  • Adapting tethered drone technology for marine deployments e.g. a security detection
  • Retrofitting and/or adapting for higher efficiency heating systems for passenger vessels
  • Developing a new touchscreen control interface for a boat’s central navigation system
  • Programming a marine software interface or using ‘big data’ to improve marine operations
  • Retaining artisan boatbuilding aesthetics/appeal by developing state-of-the-art production processes for more economic/repeatable production
  • Creating new bathymetry/hydrography products and devices for better seabed surveys
  • Increasing the performance, range and mission capabilities of unmanned vessels
  • Deploying new construction techniques, corrosion protection and damage resilience for marine structures

What costs qualify for R&D marine tax credits?

  • Research, design and testing costs
  • Employee salaries and wages
  • Costs incurred for developing any new patent or software for development or improvement purposes
  • Costs for sensors and other monitoring equipment
  • Costs incurred for using ‘big data’ analytics
  • Costs for using AI to advance products, processes and services
  • Cost for sniffers used to monitor emissions from marine vessels
  • All costs used in housekeeping tasks such as dispensers
  • Costs used for searchers who help to find and rescue people overboard
  • Costs for heavy task maintainers
  • Costs for tasks such as welding
  • Costs for technical or robotic surveyors that can explore areas humans cannot
  • Costs for using technology to optimise ship designs
  • 3D printing costs
  • Autonomous systems and remotely operated systems to improve fuel consumption and weight costs
  • Costs spent on lowering emissions, thus making the environment safe
  • Costs for indirect activities such as finance, administration, personnel services and training

How to apply for R&D marine tax credits

Firstly, be assured you do not have to embark upon the process alone – at randd, we are available to help with any aspect and, with your input, can manage the tax relief claim for any qualifying seafarer.

Here is a guide to what you need to know about the R&D marine tax credits procedure:

Understand the eligibility criteria

We have outlined this in the introduction – essentially, the work must have been conducted as part of a specific project designed to make an advancement in science or technology.

Explain the reasoning for the project

Be clear about what the scientific or technological uncertainty was that you tried to resolve, while establishing beyond doubt that it had not been previously achieved by anyone else in the field.

Describe what your process comprised

What research, testing and analysis did you conduct in trying to overcome the challenge?

Present details of the costs incurred

The amount you spent on the costs listed above can be included in your claim. If you are in any doubt, we can help you to determine which specific expenditure qualifies.

Once all these steps have been completed, we can submit your claim to HMRC along with a supporting additional information form.


Calculate My R&D Tax Credit Claim

Expert support claiming R&D marine tax relief

If you have any questions relating to seafarer tax relief or require advice about how to proceed with a claim, call randd on 01332 409 711 and we will be happy to assist you.

We have a proven track record of claiming back thousands of pounds in tax for clients in the marine, aerospace and aviation sectors.


Marine companies we’ve helped with R&D tax credits

Throughout our history, we have helped an array of marine companies apply for R&D tax credits and be rewarded for their innovation, such as the following:

To see more examples of our R&D success in the marine sector, please see our Case Studies.