Companies cannot include VAT costs in their claim for R&D tax credits.
Also, you cannot claim VAT costs in your R&D tax credit claim if your company is VAT registered at the standard, reduced, or zero rates. This is because you will be able to claim the VAT on these expenses in your VAT return in this case.
Account and R&D tax credits go hand in hand. The best way to get the maximum R&D credit possible is to make planning for your tax credit an integrated part of your accounting and bookkeeping. We provide a free accounting period to most companies for this reason.