Effective as of January 1, 2016, the research and development (R&D) tax credit entitles taxpayers to an additional deduction from the tax base for a portion of expenses incurred for R&D activities previously included in deductible expenses.
The R&D tax credit is becoming more and more popular among entrepreneurs every year due to the fact that taking advantage of the tax credit does not require carrying out scientific activities or creative works that are unique in the world – it is enough that the entrepreneur incurs expenses for the development of new technologies, products, solutions, services that have not worked for the entrepreneur before.
What constitutes research and development (R&D) activities? It is a creative activity involving scientific research or development, undertaken in a systematic manner to increase the stock of knowledge and use the stock of knowledge to create new applications. We can talk about the following areas of R&D work:
1. scientific research – which may include:
- a) Fundamental research, understood as empirical or theoretical work aimed primarily at gaining new knowledge about the fundamentals of phenomena and observable facts without aiming at direct commercial application;
- b) applied research, understood as work aimed at acquiring new knowledge and skills, aimed at developing new products, processes or services or introducing significant improvements to them.
2. development – is an activity involving the acquisition, combination, formation and use of currently available knowledge and skills, including information technology tools or software, for production planning and the design and development of changed, improved or new products, processes or services, excluding activities involving routine and periodic changes made to them, even if such changes are improvements.
Thus, it is easy to see that entrepreneurs do not need laboratories, specialists or complex research for R&D activities. The relief is aimed at all taxpayers who introduce new services, products or improve existing versions to their business.
Currently, thanks to a number of legal changes (including those related to the Polish order), taking advantage of the R&D tax credit allows certain expenses to be counted twice as tax deductible expenses – first through inclusion in expenses, and then through an additional deduction of 100% of qualified expenses from the tax base). What’s more, starting in 2022, expenditures on salaries of employees engaged in R&D and related social security contributions are subject to an additional 200% deduction.
Eligible deductible expenses include:
- salaries – and related social security contributions – of employees involved in R&D activities,
- salaries – and related social insurance premiums – paid for commission and work contracts of employees performing R&D activities,
- depreciation allowances on certain tangible and intangible assets used in R&D activities,
- acquisition of expert analysis reports, opinions, consulting and equivalent services, and research results from scientific entities,
- acquisition of materials and raw materials directly related to R&D activities,
- use of scientific and research equipment,
- obtaining and maintaining a patent, utility model protection right, industrial design registration right (costs of obtaining protection and maintaining it).
Przepisy ustaw podatkowych nie nakładają wprost obowiązku sporządzenia dodatkowej dokumentacji na potrzeby rozliczenia ulgi B+R. Warto jednak zaznaczyć, że taka dokumentacja może być niezbędna dla celów dowodowych w przypadku weryfikacji ze strony urzędu skarbowego. Sposób w jaki firma będzie dokumentować swoje działania w ramach prac badawczo-rozwojowych jest jej indywidualną decyzją i zależy od specyfiki przedsiębiorstwa. Przykładem takiej dokumentacji jest karta projektu oraz ewidencja czasu pracy (która nie jest wymagana w przypadku pracowników, którzy są oddelegowani wyłącznie do prac badawczo-rozwojowych). Jako jedna z nielicznych jednostek w Polsce oferujemy możliwość wykonania karty projektu we współpracy z renomowaną jednostką naukową, przy zachowaniu pełnej poufności i bezpieczeństwie danych.