Qualifying Research Activities relate to efforts undertaken to develop new products, enhance existing products, and to develop or improve manufacturing processes. In order to qualify for the R&D tax credit, the qualifying research activities must satisfy the Four Tests ascribed by the Internal Revenue Service. In addition, the company carrying out the work must bear the financial risk.
The activity was undertaken for the purpose of discovering information that is technological in nature and fundamentally relies on principles of physical or biological sciences, engineering or computer science. The activity was intended to exceed, expand or refine the common knowledge of the skilled professionals in a particular field of science or engineering.
It has been found that there are three types of R&D situations in which qualifying research activities occur: Classic R&D | Contingent R&D | Unplanned R&D
Employees who conduct research activities are generally involved in hands-on efforts and engaged in identifying and resolving technical problems.
Examples of employees conducting research activities are:
Direct supervision of research activities concerns immediate supervision (first-line management) of qualified research activities, as in the case of an engineering manager who directly supervises a team of engineers and technicians, but who does not perform hand-on development work. Direct Supervision does not include supervision by a higher level manager of a first-line manager who directly supervises but does not conduct hands-on research activities.
Support of research activities refers to activities performed that support those employees conducting or supervising the qualified research activities.
Examples of such activities include: