Start-ups and small businesses benefit from changes to R&D tax credit
The House today passed a permanent extension of the Research and Development (R&D) tax credit as part of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015. Finally companies can rely on the permanency of the credit, which will allow them to better plan for investments in research. In addition to making the credit permanent, the Act also contains two favorable changes for small businesses and start-ups beginning in 2016. These two noteworthy enhancements are:
The credit is now able to offset Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) for eligible small businesses, companies with less than $50 million in gross receipts. For small business owners, the AMT limitation was the largest obstacle that kept companies from taking advantage of the research credit. For 2016 and forward this limitation is lifted.
Start-up companies, whether corporations or partnerships, can apply the credit to offset up to $250,000 in payroll taxes beginning in tax years after December 31, 2015. Start-ups are defined as businesses with less than $5 million in gross receipts in the current year and less than five years of historical gross receipts.
A permanent credit provides stability and certainty to all companies while the enhancements are game changers for small businesses. The bill is now waiting for Senate approval after which the president is expected to sign it into law.
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