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R&D Tax Credit Basics

What’s the R&D tax credit?

Enacted in 1981 to encourage research and development (R&D) activities in the United States, the R&D tax credit reduces tax liability for organizations that perform certain activities to develop new or improved products, processes, software, techniques, formulas or inventions.

Because of the broad definition for qualified activities, businesses from almost every industry have claimed R&D tax credits. You can get about 10% back on qualifying expenses such as wages, contractor costs, cloud hosting and infrastructure, supplies, and legal costs.

How do I know if I qualify?

Because of the broad definition for qualified activities, businesses from almost every industry have claimed R&D tax credits. If you have employees or contractors in the United States who spend any time developing new or improved products, processes, software, algorithms, formulas, or inventions, then you likely qualify for the R&D tax credit.

Do I need to be working on groundbreaking innovations?

No. The criteria for qualified research activities and expenses is very broad, and certain types of companies (i.e. software, hardware, science, construction, beauty, startups, etc.) are extremely likely to qualify for at least some amount of credit.

Additionally, your projects do not need to succeed in order to qualify. Even if a project fails or is put on hold, you can still claim project expenses if they meet the criteria for qualified research.

What expenses can I claim for R&D tax credits?

You can claim the following expenses for qualified activities:

  • Employee wages
  • Payments to contractors
  • Cloud hosting and infrastructure costs
  • Cost of supplies

How much credit can I receive?

You can get about 10% back on qualifying expenses such as wages, contractor costs, hosting and infrastructure, and supplies.

How long does it take to process?

The R&D credit can be applied against payroll taxes beginning the quarter after the credit is elected. For example, if you file for the credit in Q1, you will receive a credit to offset your payroll taxes beginning in Q2, and for every quarter until the credit has been fully consumed. However, the exact timing and method of payment depend on your payroll provider.

Pre-revenue? Not paying income tax yet? Not a problem. Apply the credit to payroll taxes!

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Neo.Tax is easy and accurate.

1

1. Check to see how much you’re eligible for

In a few simple questions see if you qualify for the R&D tax credit and the potential amount of your credit.

2

2. Identify your qualified work

Create qualifying R&D projects using our simple guidance of the 4-part test.

3

3. Connect accounts to add expenses

Automatically link your payroll and accounting software or manually enter your expenses and tag your R&D qualified expenses.

4

4. Neo.Tax prepares filing

Leave the creation of the forms to us. We will send you completed forms and instructions that you or your accountant can file with your federal tax return.

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Check your eligibility. Calculate your credit. No commitment necessary. Don't pay until you are ready to prepare your R&D forms and study. Our fee is 2% of your qualified expenses.
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