Research & Development
Understanding what credits are available and what it takes to qualify can ease your tax burden and help with your company’s cash-flow.
Seizing Tax Credit Opportunities for Increased Research Activities
Many businesses are often uninformed or misinformed about the full extent of tax benefits they are eligible for under the federal and state tax credits for research expenditures. Recent tax law changes have made the research tax credit permanent, removing the uncertainty regarding its availability that existed previously and also made it easier to receive the benefit by eliminating some of the barriers to using the credit.
These credits can reduce the tax liability of a company and its owners on a dollar-for-dollar basis. This credit is a tax incentive designed to encourage a business in nearly any industry for its efforts to research and develop new products and processes. Those in the Manufacturing, Construction or Agriculture fields are well-suited for this credit as competition in the marketplace forces them to continually look for ways to improve their products and processes to become more efficient. They often need to invest in research efforts just to survive, and thus the research credit tax is an added bonus for their research investment.
The Research & Development Tax Credit Process
The tax law indicates that qualified research eligible for this credit must satisfy the following four criteria:
1. Permitted Purpose
2. Technological in Nature
3. Process of Experimentation
4. Elimination of Uncertainty
The amount of the research credit involves a complicated formula with several limitations.
The research credit, once calculated, is available to both taxable “C Corporations” and owners of “pass-through” entities (S Corporations and Partnerships/LLCs).
The most frequent issue raised in audits is the lack of documentation that the company’s research spending satisfies qualifying tests noted above, as well as support for the various expenditures. Without proper documentation, any claimed credits are potentially jeopardized upon a tax audit.
Could your business be missing out on Tax Credit opportunities?
Talk with an experienced Sikich tax professional today regarding the various research tax credits available and their potential application to your business.