r&d tax credits

To encourage business R&D: grants or tax credits?

The importance of business and industry R&D investment for competitiveness and economic growth is a well-entrenched dictum of national and state innovation policy across most of the developed world. Approaches for incentivizing increased research expenditures fall into two broad categories, direct grants and subsidies to offset R&D costs or R&D tax credits companies may take post-investment for research expenditures.

Recent Research: Incentives and State Fiscal Health

A recent paper published by SSRN provides a detailed look at the relationship between financial incentives and state fiscal health. The authors control for many potentially-related factors and still find significant, negative impacts of incentives. While the study helps fuel calls for critical analysis and careful implementation of tax incentives, the results may not be as clear cut as some coverage may suggest.

How the House tax plan might affect innovation

From investment returns to education savings, R&D incentives and more, tax policy and innovation are inextricably linked. Not surprisingly, the U.S. House GOP’s tax plan, released last week and updated through a significant amendment on Monday, could have significant impacts on the innovation economy.

Current[1] proposals with implications for innovation include:

Oregon lets R&D tax credit expire – will others follow?

At least three dozen states offer reductions in tax obligations to companies for some portion of the costs of the businesses conducting research and development within their particular state. During the 2017 session, one fewer could be included among the ranks. With little documented opposition, the Oregon legislature decided to get out of the R&D tax credit business altogether (p. 41, source).  Why? Are there lessons for other states’ advocates for innovation?

Recent Research: The Effectiveness of R&D Tax Credits

When the U.S. government made their R&D tax credit permanent in December 2015, it made a long-term commitment to using incentives to entice private firms to invest in research and development, joining many countries around the world. Although most studies find that R&D tax incentives promote R&D, there is little consensus on the extent of this effect. A recent firm-level analysis from the United Kingdom finds some of the strongest evidence to date on the effectiveness of R&D tax credits in incentivizing innovation. At the same time, however, other studies suggest other elements of a national economy such as education and infrastructure may be more important.

R&D Tax Credits Increase Resiliency of R&D-Intensive Firms

As the federal and state governments look for methods to support the creation and retention of well-paying science and tech (S&T) and manufacturing jobs, two recent reports have found that R&D tax credits play a vital role in helping keep domestic R&D-intensive firms resilient from economic downtowns and competition from emerging economics.

Guide Examines How to Design an R&D Tax Incentive

As a part of its Compendium of Evidence on the Effectiveness of Innovation Policy intervention, the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research released a report entitled Fiscal Incentives for Business R&D. The authors advocate how a fiscal incentive for R&D, particularly a tax credit, can be a "flexible instrument that can foster the connectivity within a national innovation system."

Reductions to Current, Funding for New Programs Outlined in PA Budget

Gov. Tom Corbett's budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year funds many of Pennsylvania's longstanding efforts to grow a technology-based economy, but at a reduced level. At the same time, the governor outlined new initiatives and investments centered on a restructured Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) that he says will eliminate duplicative programs and better position the state to attract businesses for job creation.

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