Manufacturing R&D Tax Credit

Both product and manufacturing process development associated with any of these components requires research to continually improve and stay competitive in their respective industries.

Manufacturing has always been the main focus of the research and development tax credit since its creation in 1981. Manufacturers across the United States that make consumer goods, food items, medical products, electronics, pharmaceuticals, automotive goods, furniture, heavy machinery, steel parts and tools and dies all are performing R&D activities. Both product and manufacturing process development associated with any of these components requires research to continually improve and stay competitive in their respective industries.

Companies are always seeking out new innovations for creating better, smarter, and more advanced product designs. The methods by which they manufacture these products are also under internal constant scrutiny and reconsideration to improve the efficiency and efficacy of production.

The goal is to create repeatable and intricate manufacturing procedures for building these new and improved products. In order to qualify for the credit under research and development, these companies can perform a variety of activities such as creating prototypes, production of first articles, and validation of essential components. The types of costs that would apply as research for qualification of the credit are expenses related to wages paid to employees of the company, the purchase of raw materials and supplies, and hiring outside contractors for the express purpose of conducting qualified research.

Qualified Research Activities for Manufacturing & Distribution Industry
The following are the many research and development activities that can be performed by a company looking to qualify for the R&D tax credit:
Development of conceptual designs and defining requirements and specifications for new or improved products
Use of CAD, CAM and CAE
3D printing and other additive manufacturing activities
Development of tooling, fixtures, and dies
Building and testing prototypes
Performing Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to validate 3D design models
Development of production processes and equipment
Evaluation and testing of new materials for product development
Designing cellular manufacturing systems and machine cell layouts
Software development associated with the manufacturing process (i.e. CNC machinery, PLC)
Designing and evaluating manufacturing process improvements such as those associated with:
  • Regulatory change
  • Automation and robotic technological advancement
  • Improvements associated with designing new quality standards and testing methods
Designing and building customized manufacturing equipment
Development of automated production and quality control processes
Case Study

R&D Tax Credit Case Study in the Manufacturing Industry

This company specializes in developing complex and highly sophisticated electronic products including emergency response systems, communications systems, data networks, digital media hubs, and various technologies for use in urban environments. The company may also design and develop the internal componentry of its products including mechanical, electrical, and software systems.  Research is performed by designers, mechanical and electrical engineers, software developers, computer engineers, CNC programmers, CAD designers, machinists, quality control and technicians.

Qualifying for the R&D Tax Credit in the

Manufacturing Industry

The company commences a project by conducting initial deliberations for identifying established objectives and outlining a framework. Potential methods of problem-solving are then developed for the project to determine which path of development will be the most effective in achieving the intended goals of the project.

Once decided upon, the chosen path is developed further in detail and the engineering phase is started. The appropriate teams address all possible obstacles inherent to the project's core objectives such as form, fit, material, and performance concerns. Calculations and computer models are evaluated and modified as necessary.

Additional barriers to success related to material composition, configuration, and feasibility of manufacturing are addressed and multiple ideas for solving these issues are developed. For example, one of the most common concerns in redesigning printed circuit boards in electronic products is finding alternatives for placing the critical componentry on to the board itself. This typically requires considerable re-evaluation of multiple new layout schemes in order to successfully manufacture these boards once the design phase is complete.

The next stage is the development and construction of one or more prototypes and samples to assist in evaluating various configurations of components and their resistance to environmental conditions including heat and vibration. The materials that are most often employed in building a prototype for these purposes are structural metals, PC boards, circuits and wiring, transistors, plastics, and housings.

Testing of gain and bandwidth are also included for performance and reliability. More often than not, tests fail as circuitry, power, and electronic components are modified, and the testing environment is activated in an attempt to deliver new products to meet customer specifications. This development process is repeated until a successful component is designed and manufactured.

Results Speak for

This $40 million manufacturing company generates over $415,000 of annual R&D tax credits with R&D expenses of about $6.5 million.
How it works

The R&D credit  made easy. Like, really easy.

Our experts have filed over 9,800 tax credit studies, giving us unmatched experience in the R&D tax credit. All of that experience was compiled into for a software that truly simplifies research and development tax credits.


Just connect your payroll system, and we'll do the work of bringing your data into our platform.


We will guide you in accurately qualifying your research expenses. We have over 50 tax professionals, ready to provide support.


Our SmartCreditEngine crunches the numbers to make sure you get the maximum tax benefit. Your tax credit study is just a click away.

Why was created for the purpose of educating businesses on the R&D tax credit and assisting companies that qualify for the credit to claim it.
We have leveraged over 305 collective years of experience across a national team of more than 50 R&D tax credit experts to eliminate estimations and guessing from your tax preparation. We have taken the guesswork out of a complex tax credit incentive to make it more accessible to electronics manufacturing companies everywhere. is powered by

Estimate your tax credit.

See how much you qualifiy to receive from the IRS.

Your projected credit is

Sign up below to start claiming your cash!

Get Started Today! Schedule A Demo
Hire US-based engineers, developers, or scientists.
Designs and develops product prototypes and/or software.
Performs experimentation and validation on products, manufacturing processes, and/or software.
None of the above.

This calculator has been developed utilizing data from a variety of studies conducted in the industries listed. This is only an approximation based on a variety of assumptions and should be treated as such.

Please fill out all fields.

Based on your responses, we believe that you are not currently eligible for the R&D tax credit.

Please check back with us if you perform any product or software development-related work in the future.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

We thought of everything.

SmartCreditEngine that optimizes your monetary return
Secure, encrypted environment for housing data and documentation
A user-friendly, self-guided experience
Multiple user types for compartmentalization of sensitive data
Compatible integration with most payroll systems
Full support from our team of tax GOATs
Qualified R&D Expenses identification across all expense categories
Each study is covered by our dedicated audit support
Case studies

Utilize your R&D Credit, Regardless Of Your Industry.

The R&D tax credit contributes to the success of a multitude of businesses, with over $19 Billion in annual credits redeemed by companies in over 70 industries.
Industries served
R&D tax credit studies completed
Tax returns with R&D tax credit claims

Game Development

Development of FPS games for the Console, PC, and Mobile markets in addition to creating novel VR & AR Experiences.


Annual Credit


SaaS Platform

Online SaaS platform for analysis of business credit worthiness.


Annual Credit


Blockchain Platform

Development of a new blockchain infrastructure in preparation for ICO.


Annual Credit


Internet of Things

Development of an all-in-one sensor product in addition to a machine learning platform for analyzing data.


Annual Credit


Electronics Manufacturing

Design, development, and rapid prototyping, materials evaluation, and full electromechanical assemblies.


Annual Credit



Join the growing list of people who love

“Our R&D tax credit was over $114,000! Well worth the time we invested to answer questions and connect our payroll. We plan to use this extra cash to hire additional software developers so we can go to market faster than planned."
Charles P. (Game Development)
“The process was MUCH easier than I thought it would be. Very user friendly and the automated software allowed us to track the progress every step of the way. The best part was that our credit came in at $89,050!”
Mark K. (FinTech)
“We were able to offset our payroll taxes by $34,980 which is a HUGE win for our small start-up company."
Rebecca W. (eCommerce)
“We were amazed by how easy the automated GOAT platform was to complete our R&D tax credit study. Their years of experience played a big role in making sure we didn’t miss anything.”
Jonnie C. (Software Development)

Have any question? We're here to help.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Cookie Consent

By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.