Research and Experimental Expenditures (English version)

Now that the Democrats’ Build Back Better (“BBB”) bill which includes a host of tax hike provisions is ‘dead,’ we can safely assume that no dramatic change to current tax law is expected for the tax year 2022 for now. However, there are some tax provisions scheduled to change under previously enacted bills including tax treatment of research and experimental (R&E) expenditures.

Businesses have enjoyed the option of fully deducting their research and experimental expenses over 70 years.  However, under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, R&E expenses paid or incurred on or after January 1, 2022 must be capitalized and amortized over 5 years.  The amortization period is 15 years for R&E expenditures attributable to foreign research.  Also, R&E expenditures subject to amortization now includes cost incurred in connection with the software development.

Life sciences and high-tech companies heavily reliant on the current deductibility of R&E expenditures should consider this change in managing cash tax and deferred tax accounting.

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