Architectural and Engineering (“A&E) firms continue to be an industry that is growing significantly in the U.S. and their design and experimentation activities are of the nature that is eligible for the Research & Development (“R&D”) tax credit.
A&E firms provide critical engineering, architecture, planning, and construction management for its services in transportation, bridges, aviation, architecture, environmental engineering, water and construction services. These companies play a major role in creating complex and technically challenging infrastructure across the states.
Architecture practices include architects and structural engineers whom define and address infrastructure lifecycles. Their collective experience enables a unique perspective to solve technical challenges in all lines of business, extending outside of the structure and long-term urban design. A&E firms have mastered the science of building design, including the concepts of environmental demands, and future growth expectations.
In addition, A&E firms have excellent aviation division with a long history of providing professional services at airports in the United States. Experts in airport facilities planning, environmental design, engineering, architecture, systems design, program management, and construction management, ranging from general aviation and regional airports to major international hub airports, planning, design, program support, program management, and construction management services for airside, passenger terminals and landside infrastructure and facilities projects.
Another area of possible R&D expenses is the specialization of the design and development of moveable and fixed bridges and excellence and innovation in bridge engineering. With the understanding that bridges improve mobility and connect communities, A&E firm’s accelerated bridge construction process that uses innovative methods to reduce mobility impacts when replacing bridges. Services in bridge projects include architecture, inspection, planning, design and construction support, force protection, erection engineering, emergency response, mechanical, electrical, and geotechnical.
A&E firm’s infrastructure and transportation services coordinates closely with clients and determine the best application of advanced communications, sensors, and information technology to improve transportation, safety, mobility, the environment, and economic prosperity. Traditional ITS tools include dynamic message signs, closes circuit TV cameras, traffic sensors, coordinated traffic signal control systems, and traffic management centers.
Furthermore, transit A&E services provide multiple services to transit authorities, commuter railroads, and private railroad companies. Services within the rail and transit division include complete planning, design, and construction for heavy rail, high speed/inter-city rail, light rail, commuter rail, streetcar, and bus rapid transit.
Lastly, don’t overlook water management services that provide planning, design, construction, and management in water management systems including levees, ecosystem restoration, flood water control and disaster recovery. These complex structures include floodwalls, sluice gates, levees, detention basins, connecting tunnels, and drainage pumps and stations.
A&E firms have some qualified activities and related expenditures that are eligible for the R&D tax credit. It’s critical that these firms evaluate the differences between qualified research activities and non-qualified activities in order to maximize their R&D tax credits.
For more information on the R&D tax credit, download your complimentary, educational guide below.