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What qualifies for a Research and Development Tax Credit?

The Internal Revenue Code, along with other guidance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), defines Research & Development as:

  1. Activity undertaken to develop a new, OR improve existing: products, processes, formulas, inventions, software, or techniques,
  2. Which seeks to overcome some form of uncertainty relating to: the ultimate design of a product, methodology to achieve the end result, or capability to achieve the desired result of the project,
  3. Which involves an iterative process of experimentation, or trial & error, to achieve a desired result,
  4. And is technological in nature, or based in hard sciences (mathematics, computer science, chemistry, biology, physics, etc.)

Business owners are often surprised to find out that their regular, day-to-day activities qualify for R&D credits. The tax code does not require taxpayers to invent new, patentable, world-changing products in order to qualify for R&D tax credits. The IRS research and development tax credit is in place to incentivize U.S. companies to continue improving their offerings and creating technical jobs here in the U.S.

Companies conducting day-to-day activities in manufacturing, software/tech/blockchain, architecture, engineering, government contracting, agriculture (including hemp), biotech/pharma, food & beverage, brewing, distilling, winemaking likely qualify for R and D tax credits.

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