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Are You Eligible For E-commerce Funding?

Sometimes running a business online can be expensive. Perhaps you’re building a whole new website, expanding your e-commerce offering, creating a funky new plug-in or developing an app. If so, the R&D Tax Credits scheme may be able to help with the cost

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer


5 minute read

With COVID-19 still rumbling on for the foreseeable future, many companies have turned to ecommerce as a way of keeping their business afloat, particularly during lockdown.

The good news is there are a number of ecommerce funding options available, some of which are new and some have been around for some time. Could they boost your cashflow this year?

OPTIMISE e-Commerce fund

Having launched in 2011, the OPTIMISE eCommerce fund helps small business owners to gain the knowledge and e-tools needed to ‘optimise’ their existing website and expand their business online.

The basis of the fund is in driving home the fact that all businesses will benefit from having a website. Websites usually act as the first port of call for new or potential customers, as well as being a ‘shop front’ and a marketplace. There are vastly more opportunities to grow when a business has an effective online presence, allowing for a broader customer base and to tap into new revenue streams. Businesses whose websites are either non-existent or that are poorly constructed and maintained can leave customers feeling frustrated, and more likely to use a competitor instead.

You can find out more details and how to apply on the OPTIMISE eCommerce fund page of the IE Domain website.

e-Marketing Improvement Assignments

Under Enterprise Ireland’s Business Process Improvement Grant scheme, companies can apply for Ecommerce grants for the purposes of undertaking an e-Marketing Improvement Assignment. This support is designed to assist senior managers to maximise the opportunities the internet has to offer as a business development channel. Consultants and trainers work one-to-one with clients on implementing impactful, strategic e-marketing projects effectively.

Download the eMarketing Brochure for more information on eligible activities.

Lean Business Continuity Vouchers

The Lean Business Continuity Voucher gives the chance for qualifying companies to receive up to €2,500 in training or advisory services to help a specific business operation continue during the COVID-19 crisis. Services will need to be obtained from certain approved providers in order for the voucher to be used.

The services may be in the form of training of management or staff within the company OR management advice or a mixture of the two.

You can find out more about eligibility, approved providers, how to apply and more on the Lean Business Continuity Voucher page of the Enterprise Ireland website.

Then of course there’s R&D Tax Credits

Sometimes running a business online can be expensive. Perhaps you’re building a whole new website, expanding your e-commerce offering, creating a funky new plug-in or developing an app. If so, the R&D Tax Credits scheme may be able to help with the cost.

How does it work?

The research and development (R&D) Tax Credits scheme is far from new, in fact it’s been around for nearly two decades. It’s a government funded tax incentive offered to Irish businesses who are looking to innovate and grow by addressing a particular scientific or technological challenge.

This all sounds a bit daunting but in fact even the smallest projects, and the smallest companies, can be eligible. Typically a company will have designed and/or manufactured a product, service or process from scratch, or upgraded/improved an existing one in a substantial way.

Any Irish company can apply for R&D Tax Credits as long as it is a limited company and has undertaken research and development work to overcome a scientific or technological uncertainty. Yes we’ve already mentioned this but it’s the most important bit!

Understanding what the term ‘uncertainty’ actually means in this context isn’t always easy, but generally it applies to projects that have an unpredictable outcome. These projects will likely involve research, prototype modelling, trials and tests, with a genuine possibility that they may fail and lose the company money.

How is it administered?

The benefit itself is received by making an application to Revenue. Once approved, the company will receive a reduction in their Corporation Tax to reflect their R&D expenditure, or a cash lump sum if it made a loss.

It's a very generous scheme too. Eligible R&D expenditure will give rise to a 25% tax credit that can be offset against a company’s liability for Corporation Tax. In addition to this, the standard 12.5% deduction is applied on top, effectively meaning a Revenue refund of €37.50 for every €100 worth of R&D expenditure.

Looking to find out more detail about the scheme? Take a look at our R&D Tax Credits page.

You could be missing out on thousands of euros!

Even though the R&D Tax Credits scheme has been around for some time, many businesses still aren’t claiming the money they’re entitled to. We’ve found this is to be for a number of reasons, but common ones include:

  • Not knowing the scheme exists
  • Knowing it exists but wrongly assuming their company won’t qualify for some reason
  • Not realising that the project they’ve recently carried out is in fact eligible R&D work
  • Being worried about making an inaccurate claim
  • Not being able to find the time or resource to put an application together
  • Thinking their company or claim is too small
  • Assuming that the scheme is only for large pharmaceuticals and tech companies

All of these are false!

With COVID-19 bringing financial havoc to companies up and down Ireland, it’s well worth checking to see if you could claim. Any benefit received can be spent as the company sees fit, which could make a huge difference in these exceptionally difficult times.

Think you may have a claim, or you’re just not sure?

Myriad Associates is here to help.

We specialise in R&D tax affairs and have years of experience in this very niche area of accounting. Not only can we work with you to ascertain your claim’s value, we’ll also guide you in making your application as accurate and thorough as possible.

Our Dublin-based team consists of a mix of R&D accountants, specialists and advisors and we’re proud of our 100% success rate in getting clients the cash boost they deserve.

Call us today on +353 1 566 2001 or use our contact form so we can get back to you.

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