Establishing Eligibility - How to discuss R&D with clients


This is where it starts to get interesting! HMRC’s guidance is very generic and abstract, and it has to be, because it’s got to be applicable to so many different types of company.

But how do we translate this generic guidance to real clients and projects? What information do we need to prepare a solid claim, and how do we extract it from our client in the simplest, quickest and most convenient way?

In this module, we explain how you can structure conversations with your client to ensure that your meetings with them are as effective as possible.

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Course Outcomes

After taking this course, you’ll be ready to optimise your own eligibility conversations with your clients. You’ll have:

  • A simple, effective methodology for talking to clients about R&D and recording that information in a structured way
  • A downloadable email that you can send to clients to prepare them for your meeting
  • A downloadable template that helps you apply this methodology in the field.

01: Introduction

Ready to take the course?

Key topics from the course


Pre-meeting preparation

Make sure your client’s ready for the meeting and has all the information you’ll need. Includes an email template you can adapt for your needs.


Setting the scene

Set the agenda, and explain HMRC’s guidance in a way your client can understand. Includes a downloadable framework to structure your conversation.


The Industry Baseline

Discuss in detail what the industry standard was before the research began. HMRC need to see how the advance moved technology forward – this step is key to explaining that.


Technological Advance

Ask right questions about the outcome was they were looking for during the research. Then you’ll be able to explain clearly what types of advance qualify, and what don’t.


Technological Uncertainty

Take the confusion out of Uncertainties by getting into the details of your client’s project, and how they attempted to make the advance in technology.


The Start and End of R&D

Get clear on exactly which parts of a project will qualify for tax relief. All projects go through a number of stages, but only some of the stages can be included in the claim.

Our Membership

Interested in taking the training?

All our training courses are available to members of The R&D Community. Our monthly subscription includes video-based training courses with full reporting, assessments and oversight for your team.

We also have support services which can help you with tricky eligibility conversations, screening clients and all aspects of claims and enquiries.

14: How to Say No to Clients

Want to watch one of the course videos for free?

This video explains how to talk to a client when your sure their project is not eligible for relief.