Claiming the Section 41 R&D Credit: Small Business Provisions

Calculation and Substantiation of QRAs and QREs, Using R&D Credits to Offset Payroll Tax and AMT Liabilities

Note: CLE credit is not offered on this program

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, December 12, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This course will provide tax advisers and compliance professionals with a thorough and practical guide to Section 41 Research and Development (R&D) Income Tax Credits. The panel will identify activities treated as qualified research activities (QRAs), offer guidance on documenting and claiming the credit, detail new IRS final guidance on internal-use software, and outline sampling strategies to allocate employee activities to QRAs. The webinar will focus on small to mid-size companies and will assist tax professionals in claiming valuable and often overlooked tax credits.


For many small and medium-sized businesses, the R&D tax credit is one of the most underutilized of all tax benefits. The calculation of qualified research expenses (QREs) is challenging.

Key provisions make it easier for small businesses to utilize the R&D credit. Section 41 now allows businesses with less than $50 million in gross receipts to offset R&D credit amounts against alternative minimum tax (AMT) liability. Also, entities with less than $5 million in gross receipts and no more than five years of prior receipts may offset R&D credit amounts against payroll tax expenses.

Additionally, IRS regulations on internal-use software provide clear guidance and favorable rules for including internal-use software in QRA determinations.

Section 41 allows a credit for a percentage of a QRE that a taxpayer incurs engaging in QRAs. The Code provides a four-part test to determine whether an activity can be considered a QRA. Expenditures, including wage expenses that have sufficient nexus to the QRA, can be included in calculating the expenditure base. Tax advisers can guide taxpayers in utilizing this important and overlooked credit.

Listen as our experienced panel provides a thorough and practical review of calculating, claiming, and substantiating a Section 41 R&D credit.



  1. Overview of Section 41 R&D credit
  2. Four-part test to determine QRAs
  3. IRS regulations on internal-use software inclusion in QRA calculations
  4. Sampling and allocation methods for QREs
  5. Documentation and substantiation of credit claim
  6. Small business strategies and applying credits against AMT or payroll tax liability


The panel will discuss these and other important topics:

  • The four-part test to determine whether an activity can be considered a QRA for purposes of claiming a Section 41 R&D credit
  • Documentation and substantiation requirements and practices from court cases
  • Sampling strategies for including wage QREs and other indirect costs in the credit calculation
  • Considerations for small businesses claiming a Section 41 R&D credit


Garcia, Angelique
Angelique Garcia

Warner Robinson

Ms. Garcia focuses her practice on managing and implementing R&D Tax Credit studies. Previously, at a consulting...  |  Read More

Overberg, Jamie
Jamie Overberg

TaxOps Minimization

As a tax partner for TaxOps Minimization, Ms. Overberg specializes in executing and managing a wide range of tax...  |  Read More

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CPE credit is not available on downloads.