Bloomberg by the Numbers: 1981

An associate with Intel Labs greets visitors at the technology showcase in San Francisco.

Photograph by Ryan Anson/Bloomberg

An associate with Intel Labs greets visitors at the technology showcase in San Francisco.

The federal research and development tax credit was enacted in 1981.

The credit has been frequently extended or modified since then, frustrating business leaders who say the lack of permanence creates uncertainty and complicates investment decisions. The credit lowers the tax liability of companies that increase their spending for research and development above certain thresholds.

Some tax provisions including the research credit “have been around for 30 years or more,” Rep. Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican who leads the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, said at a panel hearing earlier this month.

The U.S. “is the only country in the world that allows such important pieces of the tax code to expire on a regular basis,” he said.

The House will vote next month on legislation that would make the research tax credit permanent, Bloomberg’s Derek Wallbank and Roxana Tiron reported.

The Senate is taking a different approach, with the Finance Committee voting earlier this month “to expand and extend the research credit and dozens of other expired tax breaks through 2015,” Wallbank and Tiron wrote.

Here’s the section of the tax code dealing with the research credit. And here’s an explainer from BusinessWeek in 2011 about it.

 

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