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Space Exploration R&D Tax Credits

Big companies like Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, and SpaceX are working tirelessly to make traveling to space easier for both astronauts and civilians. But many other smaller companies are also doing their own part to develop the technology required to enable these endeavors. For such businesses, there are certain incentives that US states and governments provide, like the Space Exploration research and development tax credit. They help you recover a significant part of your research expenses.

Space Exploration R&D Tax Credit Explained

The Space Exploration R&D tax credit offers refunds and incentives to companies that develop rockets and small satellites or invest in other projects in this field. A company that qualifies can get a refund of up to 22% of its total qualified research expenses (QREs). Those funds can be redirected into other exploration endeavors and improvements to the company’s infrastructure and workforce.

Qualifying Costs and Activities

In general, every research-related expense, such as employee wages, cloud computer rental, supplies, raw materials, and costs of third-party contractors, counts as a QRE. With the funds you’ll get from the R&D tax credit, you can cover job titles such as materials and mechanical engineers, aerospace technicians, CAD engineers, chemical engineers, research scientists, spacecraft designers, PhDs, and QA/QC personnel.

To be eligible for the R&D tax credit in the Space Exploration industry, your company needs to perform the following activities:

  • Increasing efficiency and reducing production costs;

  • Making sure the vehicles meet space missions requirements;

  • Developing communications software;

  • Improving GPS;

  • Designing prototypes and 3D models;

  • Improving ground-to-space telemetry and automation of control systems.

Our team of professionals can help you claim the Space Exploration R&D tax credit without upfront costs. We are at your disposal if you want to calculate the potential amount and get a free quote.



What kind of companies can apply?

Space exploration companies that conduct qualifying research activities.

What data do I need to calculate credit?

Claim period gross receipts.

What information do I need to provide?

General ledger expense detail, payroll records, project notes, project lists, emails, lab results, and other documents regarding QREs for the claiming period.

Is credit carryforward an option?

Yes, up to twenty years.

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