June 16, 2014
Article by Brett McGrath, Partner, Tax & Business Services and John Vozzo, Director, Tax and Business Services, "Use R&D Credits to Let the IRS Pay Your Taxes," Featured in The Hartford Business Journal.
The federal Research and Development Tax Credit is an incentive program providing taxpayers a dollar-for-dollar reduction of their tax liability; in effect, the Internal Revenue Service is helping to pay taxes for companies that qualify for the credit. While many companies take advantage of the R&D credit, most taxpayers don't realize it can be claimed by businesses in many industries, most likely including yours.
The R&D credit was introduced and made part of the tax code in 1981 to help businesses conduct research and development activities in the U.S. at a cost that would be competitive with research being performed in foreign countries, especially Japan at the time.
Regulations regarding the credit have changed over the years; however, it has remained an important component of tax planning for many companies.
Recent changes to the R&D credit make it easier for a business' research activities to qualify for the credit. Now, not only do we see manufacturers and technology and software companies claim the credit, but also pharmaceutical and chemical companies, engineering firms and bakeries, among others.
Tax-qualified research activities aren't restricted only to new product development; they also include research to improve business processes and product efficiency.
Qualified expenses can include wages to supervise and support the research activity as well as the basic wages of the technical people performing the actual research. Third party contract research also qualifies, as do wages and supplies to produce a prototype.
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