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Policy Issues

Create Jobs by Expanding the R&D Tax Credit

By Rob Atkinson
January 26, 2010

A new ITIF report makes a compelling case that expanding the federal research and development tax credit would help create 162,000 jobs in the near term and enhance the nation’s long-term economic competitiveness.

Expanding the Alternative Simplified Credit (ASC) for research and development from 14 to 20 percent would spur badly needed job creation and get the country back on par with other industrialized countries’ R&D credits.

In particular, the report models the impact of expanding the ASC on jobs and other economic factors and finds that an expansion would create a number of critical economic benefits:

  • 162,000 jobs in the near term
  • A $90 billion increase in the GDP as the nation struggles through economic recovery
  • $17 billion in new tax revenues as Congress and Administration face daunting budget deficits
  • 3,850 new American patents as nations compete for dominance in tomorrow’s technologies
    The report also contrasts U.S. policy to incentivize private sector investment in R&D and experimentation with that of other leading industrial nations.
  • The U.S. is 17th among OECD countries in terms of R&D tax credit generosity.
  • Increasing the current credit to 20 percent would move the U.S. up to just 10th place.

The United States was a pioneer in using the R&D credit. Companies, workers and consumers will benefit from expanding a policy that has been shown by a wide range of scholarly research to work. Congress and the Administration should embrace this proposal an element of sustained economic recovery.

To read the WebMemo