On September 22nd, The House of Representatives passed, by a vote of 253 to 173, HR 4 entitled “The Jobs for America Act of 2014” (hereinafter “JAA”) , which would simplify and make permanent the I.R.C. § 41 Research and Experimentation Tax Credit (hereinafter “RTC”) on a retroactive basis. JAA also includes several other provisions previously approved by the House of Representatives to extend retroactively and on a permanent basis bonus depreciation; I.R.C. § 179 expensing; select S corporation provisions; and to repeal retroactively the medical device excise tax.

Among other changes to RTC, the bill would increase the Alternative Simplified Credit methodology (hereinafter “ASC”) rate to 20% and eliminate the “Regular” methodology option under Section A of Form 6765. This action by the House of Representatives is part Read More


In calculating the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit (hereinafter “RTC”) under I.R.C. § 41 and its corresponding treasury regulations, the consistency rules are a critical concept to understand in order to properly measure and compute the RTC and achieve a sustainable tax return filing position per Circular 230. In order to properly measure and compute the increase in qualified research and experimentation expenditures between the two periods measured to calculate the RTC, the consistency rule holds that the same standard must be applied in both periods. This critical concept was the focal point of a recent pivotal judicial interpretation handed down back in July of 2014 by the Fifth Circuit Court in Trinity Industries, Inc. v. United States. Read More

The Internal Revenue Service (hereinafter “IRS”) has issued new administrative authority for changing a method of accounting for retail inventory. Newly issued Rev. Proc. 2014-48 provides the select procedures under which a taxpayer may obtain the IRS’s consent to change a method of accounting to comply with the final treasury regulations on the retail inventory method of accounting. The final treasury regulations clarify the computation of ending inventory values under the retail inventory method and provide alternative methods for taxpayers using the retail Lower of Cost or Market (hereinafter “LCM”) method of accounting to account for margin protection payments.

As set forth under Treas. Reg. § 1.471-8, a taxpayer may use the retail inventory method to compute the value of ending inventory at approximate cost (i.e., retail cost) or approximate Read More

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On June 2, 2014, The Department of Treasury announced that modified treasury regulations (e.g., TD 9666) will enable companies to claim the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit (hereinafter “RTC”) utilizing the Alternative Simplified Credit (hereinafter “ASC”) methodology on amended tax returns. This represents a true paradigm shift from the previously issued set of treasury regulations which only allowed companies to take the RTC utilizing the ASC on originally filed tax returns.

This paradigm shift was made possible through the bipartisan support on both sides of the aisles in Congress including, but not limited to, Coons (D-DE), Cornyn (R-TX),Grassley (R-IA), Hatch (R-UT) Klobuchar (D-MN) Roberts (R-KS), Schumer (D-NY) and Wyden (D-OR), Brady (R-TX), Camp (R-MI), Gerlach (R-PA), Jenkins (R-KS), Read More

On Friday, May 9th The U.S. House of Representatives voted 274-131 to reinstate the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit (hereinafter “RTC”) under § 41 of the Code which recently expired on December 31, 2013.

As a background, the RTC was first enacted in 1981 into the Code as a temporary provision at a time when research and development based jobs were alarmingly declining throughout the United States (hereinafter “U.S.”) due to U.S. based companies moving these jobs overseas. Lawmakers stated the lapse-and-revive cycle of the past 33 years has prevented companies from relying on it and thwarted its incentive effect. “Businesses can’t grow and invest when the tax code is riddled with instability and uncertainty,” Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, proclaimed on the House floor Read More

On April 3, 2014, The Senate Finance Committee agreed to expand the Federal-Level Research and Experimentation Tax Credit (hereinafter “RTC”) for certain small businesses, making the tax incentive available to companies that don’t have an income tax liability.

The change, pushed by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other lawmakers on the Hill, proposes to make the RTC available to many start-up companies that typically aren’t able to claim it during their first years in operation, as Senator Chuck Schumer indicated at the Finance Committee’s markup on expired tax incentives. Senators across both sides of aisles approved the proposal on a voice vote, with no objections.

Pursuant to the currently expired statute, companies can take the RTC only if they have Read More

U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), leader of the Senate’s Manufacturing Jobs for America initiative, and Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) introduced bipartisan legislation on January 14th to enhance incentives for private firms to invest in research and development within the United States and its possessions (e.g., Puerto Rico and Guam). The Innovators Job Creation Act would help startups and other small companies take full advantage of the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit (hereinafter “RTC”) pursuant to I.R.C. § 41 that are currently unavailable to them based upon the current statute.

“Research and development is the lifeblood of great American companies, turning ideas into innovations that grow businesses and create good manufacturing jobs here at home,” U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) said. “If we want to strengthen our Read More


The Research and Experimentation Tax Credit (hereinafter “RTC”) was added to the Internal Revenue Code (hereinafter “the Code”) in 1981 as a temporary provision of the Code at a time when research and development based jobs were significantly declining in the United States due to these jobs being moved overseas where labor rates and overall operating costs were considerably less. For this very reason, the RTC was introduced into the Code in 1981 to motivate business entity taxpayers to incur significant and qualifying research and development expenditures with the high expectations that such an advantageous tax incentive would facilitate in stimulating job growth and investment in the United States and Read More

TaxConnections Picture - Books_Hour_GlassAs set forth in the pivotal case of Geosyntec Consultants, Inc. v. United States, No. 9:12-cv-80334 (S.D. Fla. 2013), the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled that engineering work conducted under select customer contracts was “not funded” and consequently eligible for the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit (hereinafter “Research Tax Credit”) pursuant to I.R.C. § 41, while other contracts were deemed “funded” and not eligible for the Research Tax Credit.

Geosyntec Consultants Inc. (hereinafter “Geosyntec”) is an engineering firm that specializes in matters involving the environment, natural resources and geologic infrastructure. Geosyntec’s core business is to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to environmental problems that are less expensive and disruptive than conventional remediation approaches.

Geosyntec sought a refund of $1,677,432 for Research Tax Credits resulting from 370 client projects on which it worked from 2002 through 2005. At issue before the court in cross-motions for summary judgment motion was whether the services rendered by Geosyntec on those projects should be classified as “funded research” under I.R.C. § 41(d)(4)(H) and thus not eligible for the Research Tax Credit.

Pursuant to Treas. Reg. § 1.41-4A(d) there are two requirements for determining whether research and experimentation analysis rendered for a third party is considered “not funded” and therefore not excluded from the Research Tax Credit under I.R.C. § 41(d)(4)(H): Read More

IRS Building in WashingtonThe Internal Revenue Service (hereinafter “the Service”) has issued Notice 2013-20 in connection to the allocation of the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit (hereinafter “RTC”) to members of a controlled group. The guidance was in response to modifications made to I.R.C. § 41 as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (hereinafter “ATRA”).

It should be duly recalled that the ATRA simplified the methodology for allocating the RTC to members of a controlled group of corporations and businesses under common control. Under the prior statute and corresponding treasury regulations, all companies under common control that were required to calculate the RTC at the group level were then required to allocate the RTC to the members of the group based upon each member’s standalone RTC. This allocation methodology was principally onerous when group members were required to use different methods for computing their standalone RTCs. The new law provides that the group RTC will now be allocated to the group members based on members’ proportionate share of Qualified Research Expenses (hereinafter “QREs”).

It should be duly noted that for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2011, Notice 2013-20 indicates that the treasury regulations dealing with the RTC allocations for controlled groups (e.g., Treas. Reg. §1.41-6(c) and related examples) no longer apply. In its place, taxpayers should allocate the RTC based on their proportionate share of QREs as outlined within the ATRA. Finally, the notice also indicates that the Service intends to modify Treas. Reg. § 1.41-6 to conform to the new allocation rules.