It has been a tough few years.
Between an unprecedented and painful economic contraction due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent supply-side shocks and inflationary pressures, businesses are eager to find ways to save money and improve their bottom line by any means, while also seeking to innovate to better perform in an ever-increasingly competitive environment. For many businesses, this includes renewed exploration of local, state, and federal incentives to help reduce tax liabilities. For a large number of industries, research and development (R&D) tax credits may provide an effective tool in recouping crucially needed cash spent on developing new or improved products or processes. Better still, many companies can take advantage of both federal and state R&D programs concurrently to enjoy even greater benefits.
It has been a tough few years.
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) has been a popular topic of conversation throughout the pandemic, yet many organizations believe they don’t qualify, and even more have yet to claim it. There is a good chance you have been inundated with emails, text messages, and phone calls indicating your business or organization qualifies for cash from the federal government. Whether you’ve been too busy to focus on it or had no idea your business was eligible in the first place, we would like to help you understand what all the fuss is about. In doing so, you may consider taking a closer look at how the ERC may apply to your situation.
Over the past year and a half, the state of Kansas has passed legislation to improve their incentive offerings for new and expanding businesses. The most notable parts of this legislation are the inclusion of remote workforce in incentive program projects, an increase from 6.5% to 10% in the state Research & Development (R&D) credit amount, the removal of training program participation for High Performance Incentive Program (HPIP) participants, and the introduction of a significant benefits package through the Attracting Powerful Economic Expansion (APEX) program.
On August 16th, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law, and although there were many provisions, there are a few that stand out for business owners. One of which being that there are additional funds for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). We will explain what this means to taxpayers, specifically ones claiming business tax credits and what they can do to protect themselves from IRS examinations.
The Employee Retention Credit, also referred to as ERC, is a refundable payroll tax credit that businesses can receive on qualified employee wages and certain employee benefits beginning March 13, 2020, through December 31, 2021. The program was first introduced by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It was signed into law during March 2020 to assist businesses that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. Since its inception, the program has gone through many revisions with three different acts. The first being the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA), enacted in December 2020, the second is the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), enacted in March 2021, and the third is the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), enacted in November 2021. The last act accelerated the end of the program from the initial date of December 31, 2021, to September 30, 2021, for most businesses. However, for wages paid by a Recovery Startup Business, the expiration date remains December 31, 2021.
At the end of June 2022 the new Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE-JU) announced a €2 billion partnership between the European Union and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC), funding projects with cash grants which advance the competitive circular bio-based industries in Europe.
Even in crisis, there is wrongdoing. This is an unfortunate truth in the world, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. Since the beginning of the health crisis in 2020, the world has faced numerous negative impacts related to health, education, and the economy. Here in the United States, to minimize the impact to the economy, the Federal government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Specifically, this new law sought to provide emergency financial assistance to help millions of impacted small businesses and American families get back on their feet, as well as stimulate the economy. Although created with good intentions, these relief packages and economic aid tools brought about individuals and businesses who took advantage, initiating pandemic fraud activity.
The total number of Research and Development (R&D) tax claims increased by 10.54% from 2021-22 on 2020-21 with abuse still rife, Her Majesty's Revenue and Custom (HMRC) priority to tackle dubious claims have seen delays to processing times.
The time to reverse the changes made by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) is quickly running out. These changes force companies to begin amortizing research and development expenses over a period of 5 years rather than deduct them entirely in the year in which it was claimed. A measure to help offset the revenue lost from cutting the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, the change to I.R.C. section 174 removes the option of a current year deduction in full.
A new court opinion issued by the U.S. Tax Court emphasizes the importance of contract review for the analysis and substantiation of an R&D tax credit claim. The opinion alludes to additional requirements to demonstrate a taxpayer's economic risk when conducting research. Moreover, the court points to precedence to emphasize that terms and conditions within any contract agreement are most important, and no implications or assumptions should be needed or considered to substantiate a credit claim.