Working on technical fixes caused by Magento’s recent software updates may qualify for tax relief, according to R&D tax credit firm, Jumpstart.

The relief could be available, providing the work is carried out prior to the release of official patches.

The issue dates from the release of Magento 2 in 2015, which failed to work with some versions of PHP. This meant developers had to try and fix the issue themselves while patches were being created.

Paul Barton, a technical analyst and software specialist with Jumpstart

“With the launch of any new software, there can be unexpected and unpredictable issues and as it becomes more widely tested by users, more issues come to light. Often the new version fails to work with other technologies, which creates problems for those with websites that integrate different programs and can cause the site to crash altogether,” explained Paul Barton, a technical analyst and software specialist with Jumpstart.

“At first, the software company itself may not understand what is wrong so it can take some time for it to issue a patch. In the meantime, website owners may have to invest considerable time and money experimenting with different ways to fix the issue, encountering uncertainty as to the solution, effectiveness of their investigation and any wider applicability. This type of work is classed as research and development and will generally qualify for tax relief.

“While we have been seeing a lot of issues relating to Magento and WordPress updates, the same applies to any type of software. However to qualify for tax relief, the work must have been sufficiently challenging, and carried out before an official patch is released, as it is then considered that a solution has been found.”

Companies can claim for any eligible work carried out during their current financial year and their previous two financial years.