If your project achieved a technical feat that no other project has achieved, then it is likely to be eligible as R&D. If it achieved something which few others have achieved, and if the knowledge of how they did it is not commonly available knowledge that a ‘competent professional’ would be aware of, then it could still be R&D.
Clearly, if what you’ve done was known to have been achieved countless times already and is common knowledge, then it’s unlikely to be R&D from an HMRC perspective.
For example, installing a best-in-class open source CRM platform and setting up your own CRM system with minor adjustments is not R&D. However, taking this CRM platform (which effectively represents the state-of-the-art of publicly available knowledge), and materially customising it by redeveloping fundamental components to match your specific technical requirements, may well be R&D.
A key general rule to consider here is, if you have technically competent people with significant experience or formal qualifications spending considerable time working on the Project (whether in-house, agency or externally subcontracted), then it may indicate R&D taking place.
If you’d like to find out about whether any innovative projects your company has created may be eligible for R&D Tax Credits, get in touch with us today: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 020 7993 4220.