Swat-Fame, Inc.: Case Clothed—Why California Wouldn’t Say Yes to the Dress

Written by John Bohannon. Updated Sep 18, 2020.

A recent opinion by the California Office of Tax Appeals (OTA) ruling against an apparel industry taxpayer demonstrates a continuing trend by federal and state taxing authorities to focus on a taxpayer’s ability to substantiate adherence to meeting each element of the four-part test under section 41—most notably the process of experimentation requirement. In addition, the ruling indicates increasing scrutiny regarding a project’s activities having been undertaken for a permitted purpose.

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A Tale of Two Tax Agencies During the COVID-19 Crisis: Federal giveth and California taketh away

Written by Ian Merwin. Updated Jul 16, 2020.

On June 29, 2020, the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, signed into law the fiscal year 2020-2021 state budget, which included provision AB 85, limiting the ability of certain taxpayers to use net operating losses (“NOLs”) and specific business credits for the 2020, 2021, and 2022 tax years. Specifically, for tax years beginning on or after January 1,2020 and before January 1, 2023, taxpayers with a net business income or modified adjusted income of greater than or equal to $1 million will have their NOLs suspended during the period, and businesses will be capped at claiming $5 million in business credits per tax year.

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The IRS and the Pandemic Highlights

Written by Charlotte Ochs. Updated Jul 7, 2020.

Since the beginning of the pandemic it has been a whirlwind of unprecedented economic impacts. With that came the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and a curtailment of enforcement actions by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), including audits. Per the People First Initiative the IRS generally avoided launching new audits from April 1st through July 15th. This did not prevent the IRS from opening audits to protect the government’s interest in preserving statute of limitations. (See IRS, IR-2020-59) In a report released June 29th, National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins said that the IRS launched substantially fewer audits from April 1st to June 1st compared to the same period in 2019. The IRS launched 71% fewer Corporate audits, 79% fewer Partnership audits, and 65% fewer individual audits. In total across all types of examinations there was a 65% decrease during this time period. With July 15th approaching the assumption is that there will be an increase in audits launched. However, with the pandemic still in a critical state as numbers of COVID-19 cases rise it remains to be seen what will happen as things are more fluid and the rules of the game are constantly changing.

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Music to Our Ears—A Resounding Victory for R&D Taxpayers

Written by John Bohannon. Updated Jun 22, 2020.

Taxpayers rejoice! A recent case decision signals good news for the R&D legal landscape—Audio Technica U.S., Inc. v. U.S. In this case, the taxpayer was a manufacturer of high-quality audio and microphone equipment. After being denied its claimed research credit during audit, the taxpayer sought to litigate the issue through the Northern District of Ohio in June of 2019 in an 8-person jury trial.

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Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act

Written by Charlotte Ochs. Updated Jun 18, 2020.

During this time of unprecedented economic challenges faced by small businesses during COVID-19, rare glimpses of bipartisanship are encountered to assist small business with economic relief. Due to the economic challenges faced by small businesses the economic relief provided is in a constant state of fluidity. This has been the status quo for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The President signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA) to address the concerns voiced by the small businesses utilizing the program. The Congressional intent of the new law is to allow greater flexibility for business to use the PPP loans that was not provided by the initial short-term fix of the PPP set up under the CARES Act. This new law provides the following expansions and flexibility to address the issues created by the CARES Act – PPP, that was a band aid and not a comprehensive bandage when it was enacted.

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Key Changes to COVID-19 Incentives Paycheck Protection Loan and Employee Retention Credit

Written by Charlotte Ochs. Updated May 11, 2020.

Life is in a constant state of flux right now with the COVID-19 virus. It has affected daily life and the economy. Congress has worked to provide economic stimulus programs such as loans and credits. The intent of Congress was to stimulate the economy and help employers maintain business and retain employees to alleviate the economic hardship caused by COVID-19. However, as is typical when trying to quickly stop the negative impact of a disaster, details get omitted from the legislation and key areas need clarification as we have seen recently with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Employee Retention Credit. More specifically, with the PPP concerning the deductibility of expenses when payments were made with debt forgiven funds and with the Employee Retention Credit in determining whether employers could claim the Employee Retention Credit when the only payments made to furloughed employees was for their health care benefits.

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IRS Expands Time Period to Claim R&D Tax Credits on Prior & Current Year Tax Returns

Written by Mitch Feldman. Updated Apr 17, 2020.

On April 9, 2020 the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced another round of relief provisions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This new wave of relief measures is intended to provide further benefits to taxpayers in addition to the previous measures already implemented.

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Fight in the Dog: Small Life Science Startups Persist Despite Odds

Written by Corporate Tax Incentives. Updated Nov 3, 2019.

“It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.”

Mark Twain, the great American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer, is credited with authoring this wise quote. The quote speaks to tenacity, perseverance, and resilience, and how these qualities are not a matter of size, but rather attitude.

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R&D Tax Credits Can Upload Savings for Digital Therapeutics Research

Written by Corporate Tax Incentives. Updated Oct 27, 2019.

Even if you weren’t around to experience it on the big screen, most of you are probably familiar with the 1984 hit movie Terminator that immortalized the promise, “I’ll be back.”  The sci-fi flick depicts Arnold Schwarzenegger as a deadly cyborg sent back in time to eliminate a woman whose yet-to-be-conceived son will lead the charge to kill the robot’s nefarious creators.

Cyborgs, as portrayed in movies, are virtually computerized versions of walking, talking humans. Right now, they are still a product of the future – mostly. Digital therapeutics are not. Digital therapeutics are computerized variations of manual health therapies.

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R&D Tax Credits Administer Relief for Medical Device Industry

Written by Corporate Tax Incentives. Updated Oct 20, 2019.

Smart inhalers. Artificial irises. Heart failure sensor implants and wireless brain sensors. Surgery robotics, artificial organs, papyrus covered coronary stints – this is just a sampling of the most recent and advanced medical devices in use or soon to be.

These and other medical devices possess the power to detect distress, monitor conditions, and improve patients’ lives and ability to manage their health. They allow doctors and caregivers to diagnose and address ailments with greater accuracy and speed.  Never before has technology been so grafted to healthcare.

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