The research credit has been a part of the tax code since it was first passed in 1981. It’s been extended 15 times, and as we reported in June, was again renewed for this tax year and made easier to claim.
Congress is currently considering additional modifications to the R&D credit. The Senate has accepted an amendment that allows the R&D Tax Credit to be taken against the Alternative Minimum Tax. An amendment is also being considered that would allow start-up companies in their first five years to take the R&D Tax Credit against business/payroll taxes (capped at $250,000 per year). And the House has passed a bill that expands the credit and makes it permanent.
Who qualifies for the R&D credit? More companies than you might think. Although businesses doing laboratory research are the first that come to mind, the credit also rewards businesses that are improving upon an existing product or process. Which means that companies in industries as diverse as manufacturing, technology, architecture, engineering, contracting, construction, agriculture, and others could qualify.