Aerospace R&D Tax Credits

The UK aerospace industry is a crucial sector, employing around 95,000 people and worth approximately £31 billion. Innovation through research and development (R&D) is essential to overcome the challenges and uncertainties faced by the industry. The government’s R&D tax credits scheme is designed to encourage and support innovation in the aerospace sector by helping companies invest in new discoveries and technologies.



The sector employs approximately 95,000 people and is worth approximately £31 billion, with R&D to overcome uncertainty and technical challenges resulting in some of the most advanced aviation and space flight technology.

Because the aerospace industry is at the cutting edge of technology, with innovation as a driving force, many projects are potentially eligible for R&D tax credits, and the number of R&D claims in the UK is increasing year on year. However, many aerospace companies may be unaware that they are eligible for the incentive, especially if work is subcontracted.

Many aircraft manufacturers operate on a “fixed-cost per-piece” basis, which means they bear the cost of R&D and are only compensated if the manufacturing process is successful. These components’ prototypes, first articles, and testing are also eligible for credit.

Why Us?

  • £50m Secured for 500+ businesses.
  • 97% Client retention rate
  • 98% Rate of payment on all claims submitted.


What counts as R&D for tax relief purposes?

We suggest evaluating your project against the following criteria to determine if it meets the requirements for R&D classification in the eyes of HMRC:

  • Is there technological uncertainty?
  • If you took a competent professional in your field and gave them the documentation for your project, would the answer to your problem be readily deducible? If not, then you likely attempted to overcome some sort of scientific or technological uncertainty for your project to qualify.
  • Have you achieved an advancement? The goal of any R&D project should be to take any given technology beyond what’s available in the public domain. So, if you’re doing something that’s never been done before to your knowledge, something that’s been done by other companies before in a way that was their own IP, or advancing an existing technology/approach beyond what it was natively capable of, then you could have done exactly that.
  • Does it demand competent professionals? A professional in the relevant field shouldn’t be able to solve uncertainties with ease. A competent professional is one who is anticipated to be familiar with the pertinent scientific and technological principles involved, aware of the current level of knowledge, and has acquired experience and is acknowledged as having a successful track record.


Examples of Aerospace R&D Activities

  • Developing new or improved technologies
  • Developing new manufacturing processes
  • Creating new aircraft or spacecraft designs
  • Reformulating existing materials or chemicals
  • Developing new software
  • Updating existing software for new purposes
  • Design and development of components for aviation, aerospace, and armament system


Professionals involved in R&D claims in the aerospace sector include:

  • Aerospace Engineer
  • CAD Designer
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Engineering Manager
  • Engineering Director
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Project Manager
  • Systems Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Structural Engineer
  • Aerodynamicist


Expenditures that can be accounted for in your R&D claim:

  • Payroll/staffing expenses for relevant professionals
  • Subcontracted R&D for the creation of novel prototypes and technologies
  • Consumable materials used in research.
  • Software and software licenses used in R&D
  • Compensation paid to employees for participating in R&D trials.
  • Contributions to independent research institutions for joint research projects
  • Cloud computing and data storage costs incurred in R&D, starting from April 2023.


Our R&D Tax Credit Process

Our team of sector specialists, Aerospace professionals, accountants, and former HMRC tax inspectors is uniquely equipped to identify eligible R&D expenses in construction projects that other advisors may miss. Our process, specifically designed for the construction industry, is aimed at maximizing your claim and minimizing exposure to HMRC inquiries.

EXPLORE: Schedule a free appointment below to determine your eligibility and your company’s total R&D tax position.

CREATE: We’ll create a claim that minimises your exposure to HMRC enquiries, speeds up the process, and undergoes rigorous compliance checks by our in-house team.

OPTIMISE: We’ll help you find additional sources of R&D funding and offer planning assistance for your R&D strategy, considering potential incentives and grants.

REWARD: We’ll help you safely receive the maximum tax credit available, supporting your future growth.


What next?

If you believe your claim has not been fully optimised and you may be entitled to a better service, or if you want to begin your first claim, seek professional advice from Bonham & Brook on how to proceed. Schedule a free consultation below.


Contact Us



Book A Meeting


What our clients have to say

It was a pleasure working with the guys at Bonham & Brook, especially considering that, with the wealth of knowledge backed up with the expertise of an ex HMRC officer, we had confidence going ahead with a claim for the first time. After successfully receiving a substantial refund, we would not hesitate doing another claim and, it goes without saying, Bonham & Brook will be our preferred partners going forward. Thank you, again.

Chris Strik

Managing Director

We worked with the team at Bonham & Brook on the R&D claim that we were unaware of. To our surprise they made the whole process seamless and we received our refund from HMRC. We will definitely be using B&B again for our R&D claim to help us grow our business.

Chetan Patel


At first I believed that R&D tax credits were a little too good to be true or that my company would not be applicable. Jenson, Hannad and the team's expertise and experience reassured and guided me through the process. I had to put in approx. 1 - 2 hours work and they did the rest of the application. The first time we worked together they were able to claim for the previous 2 years, so we received a bumper double rebate. This money has helped us grow the business by having the cash to grow the team and increase our marketing budget. My business has grown thanks to their work, so I am eternally grateful.

Ryan James

Managing & Creative Director

Contact Us

Please get in touch and a member of our team will get back to you immediately.