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Tax relief table

Oil innovation helps put Aberdeen top of R&D league

Brent oil fieldOil and gas companies appear to have heeded calls to be more innovative by putting Aberdeen top of the Scottish league for R&D tax relief claims.

A total of 250 Aberdeen companies (2.63% of all enterprises in the city) claimed for R&D tax relief , according to figures for 2016-17 released today by HMRC. This puts the city at the top of an Innovation League Table and fourth across the UK, 

The oil and gas sector was urged to innovate following the 2014 price crash in order to improve efficiency, cut costs and find new and more effective processes. It has also diversified into renewables and decommissioning.

Scott Henderson, managing director at tax specialist Jumpstart which produced the Innovation League Table, said Aberdeen’s oil and gas sector “continues to invest in innovation to improve operational processes and enhance competitiveness in the global market place.”

The table shows the number of claims being made in relation to the number of enterprises in each of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas. 

Edinburgh’s thriving technology and emerging fintech sectors helped it secure second place with 2.1% of its businesses making R&D-related tax relief claims.  Glasgow, which is also experiencing growth in financial services and is developing a significant space technology sector, saw 1.7% of businesses making a claim. Dundee, a hotbed for computer games and life sciences, was fourth with 1.6% of claims.




Those making the fewest claims included East Dunbartonshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Moray and North Ayrshire with 0.3% or fewer businesses in those areas securing a claim for R&D tax relief.

The figures were rounded up to the nearest five claims, meaning a number of smaller local authority areas such as Orkney, Shetland, Inverclyde and the Western Isles did not make the list.  

Two Northern Ireland authorities topped the list with Mid-Ulster (3.49% of businesses claiming) and Belfast (2.92%) ranking first and second respectively. Cambridgeshire is third on the table with 2.9% of its businesses securing a R&D tax relief claim. 

The HMRC stats show more than £1.4 billion in R&D tax relief credits were secured by Scottish companies in the period.

R&D Tax relief claims by Scottish local authority area 

Aberdeen City                           2.63%

City of Edinburgh                      2.14%

Glasgow City                            1.68%

Dundee City                              1.59%

Midlothian                                 1.35%

West Lothian                             1.05%

Fife                                          1.02%

North Lanarkshire                    0.86%

East Lothian                              0.74%

South Lanarkshire                      0.74%

West Dunbartonshire                 0.73%

Falkirk                                      0.72%

Stirling                                      0.71%

Aberdeenshire                           0.67%

Scottish Borders                        0.66%

South Ayrshire                          0.64%

Renfrewshire                             0.58%

East Ayrshire                            0.58%

Perth and Kinross                      0.53%

Angus                                       0.48%

Clackmannanshire                   0.39%

Highland                                   0.39%

Argyll and Bute                         0.37%

East Renfrewshire                    0.36%

East Dunbartonshire                  0.31%

Dumfries & Galloway                 0.30%

Moray                                       0.29%

North Ayrshire                           0.28%

(Inverclyde, Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles did not register)              



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