Can R&D Tax Credits be added to Land Remediation Relief?

Land remediation tax relief is well known in the UK, but why only few companies realise that land remediation activities can also qualify for R&D Tax Relief? Is your business failing to claim R&D relief?

The Environment Agency has estimated that 300,000 hectares of land at over 325,000 sites in England and Wales are contaminated with a variety of pollutants. On average 250 new sites have been classified as contaminated each year since 2000 – Environment Agency (2005) Indicators for Land Contamination, Science Report SC030039/SR.

Land remediation takes several forms and is commonly considered to be a ‘dig and dump’ activity. As environmental concerns regarding disposal contaminated land increase companies are engaging the assistance of specialist chemist.  The engagments vary from employees, Joint Ventures or subcontractors to assist in innovative remediation techniques and in-situ remediation.

This approach is relatively new and one strategy will not always work on the same contamination in another location, perhaps due to the soils present, the use of the location, the level of contamination, waterways and so on. The benchmarking of new techniques and technical adaption of known techniques to accommodate new variables is potentially qualifying R&D activity, which can be a generous relief if all conditions to claim Land Remediation Tax Relief are not met.

There is no requirement for the company undertaking the remediation strategy to own or have a licence over the land; the company must merely be aiming to overcome scientific and technical uncertainty through the use of science or technology, so it can be qualified for Land Remediation Tax Relief and R&D tax credits.

Technology Strategy Board has sought to assist with the development of specialised sustainable land remediation techniques, with example projects outlined. 

Example of Qualifying R&D Project

Example of qualifying R&D within the land remediation sector:

  • Contamination in a built up area. This is usually treated by digging out the contaminated area and relocating it to a designated area. Due to the existing buildings within the contamination zone this strategy is not considered acceptable. The company sought to devise a method of remediation in-situ aimed at neutralising the contamination and preventing future side effects. In undertaking this task the company will likely,
    • research the area and substances present,
    • seek theoretical solutions to the problem,
    • test and benchmark results of pilot remediation techniques,
    • scale up the pilot remediation and
    • monitor recordings found on site.

The advances then found will contribute not only to the company’s knowledge but to industry capabilities.

Contact R&D Tax Solutions in Manchester to Learn More

Contact us today as our experts will be able to explain to you in plain English if your land remediation activities qualify for Land Remediation Tax Relief and R&D tax credits. We can certainly save you time and costly mistakes for incorrectly submitted claims.

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