Irish Revenue Guidelines

Since the R&D tax credit regime began in 2004, the Irish Revenue have issued guidelines to help guide businesses and their advisors on their compliance expectations. On every project we undertake, our most important objective is to ensure our clients are claiming within these guidelines to minimise the risk associated with their claims. Unfortunately the Irish Revenue are regularly updating these guidelines. Therefore the compliance expectation are a moving target, we spend many hours staying ahead of these guidelines by interpreting the changes and observing Revenue audit practices. You can rest easy in the knowledge that our advice and app are always up to date with best practices.

If you want to review the most recent set of R&D guidelines from the Irish Revenue they are embedded below.

Don't spend too much time on it though because we'll guide you through everything you need to know.

Historic Guidelines

If you are experiencing some type of Revenue intervention from an historic claim, the Irish Revenue  should apply the guidelines that were in place at the time. If you are getting asked unexpected questions or Revenue have expectations that do not align with the guidelines in place at the time, you should query Revenue as to what guidelines they are using as part of their assessment. We have attached all the guidelines that can be applied for the past 5 years below. Revenue can go back and audit an R&D claim for up to 5 years after your year end. If you need older guidelines for any reason please reach out and we'll send them on.

Guidelines July 2020 - April 2021

If Revenue are reviewing a claim that was submitted between July 2020 and April 2021 they will most likely be using the guidelines as attached below to guide their audit and inform their interpretation

Guidelines March 2019 - July 2020

If Revenue are reviewing a claim that was submitted between March 2019 and July 2020 they will most likely be using the guidelines as attached below to guide their audit and inform their interpretation

Guideline April 2015 - March 2019

If Revenue are reviewing a claim that was submitted between April 2015 and March 2019 they will most likely be using the guidelines as attached below to guide their audit and inform their interpretation

Other useful reference material from the Irish Revenue about R&D tax credits

R&D Tax Credits and Grants for micro & small companies

The appointment of an external expert in R&D tax credit audits

R&D tax credits statistics for the period 2004 - 2019

This document from  Feb 2017 outlines that if you are a Small or Micro company and have been approved for R&D grants on the same projects by the IDA or EI and your R&D tax credit claim is €50,000 or less then the Irish Revenue will not challenge the technical or scientifc element of the R&D tax claim.

This Document from Feb 2017 outlines the Irish Revenues procedures for appointing and technical expert to assist in the science test in a R&D tax credits audit

These are the statistics on R&D tax credits for the periods 2004 to 2019. It makes for some interesting reading in terms of the number of claimants, the size of those claimant companies and the quantum of claims across the different categories