Reliefs for research and development activity

Are you going to increase your company's research and development (R & D) activity? Or maybe you are thinking about creating a startup? If so, it is now a good time to put your ideas into practice. From the beginning of 2018, it will be easier due to further changes in the law, especially in tax laws, which will encourage entrepreneurs to R&D activity.

The new regulations increase the amount of the maximum deduction of all eligible costs for R&D activity from the tax base calculation to 100%, and for entrepreneurs having the status of a research and development centre to 150%.

Eligible costs are deductible if they have not been reimbursed in any form or deducted from the tax base. This means that once deducted from the tax base, the eligible costs of acquisition of e. g. materials or raw materials cannot be deducted by the taxpayer again, e. g. after the production of a fixed asset from them, as depreciation write-offs.

In addition, the catalogue of eligible costs has been extended, including the following:

  • the acquisition of specialised equipment (other than fixed assets, e. g. vessels and laboratory equipment, measuring equipment),
  • charges under contracts for specific task, mandate contracts,
  • social security contributions,
  • crediting by research and development centres of depreciation write-downs on buildings, structures and premises used for R&D works, as well as costs of experts' opinions and consultancy services obtained from third parties,
  • prolonging until 2023 the exclusion of the so-called double taxation of capital companies and limited joint-stock partnerships engaged in R&D activities.

In addition, changes include:

  • use of R&D relief for some enterprises operating outside Special Economic Zones,
  • financing of startups - clarifying how a loan converted into equity is taxed,
  • the obligation to return the received R&D relief if in the period of 3 tax years the business activity is liquidated (with so called cash return for new entrepreneurs).
  • presentation by entrepreneurs in the part of the financial statement - Additional information and explanation, the amount of incurred costs related to research and development works, which were not included in the balance sheet assets.

Changes in science:

  • enabling universities to create more than one special purpose vehicle and to extend the scope of activities of special purpose vehicles established by universities and scientific institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) by business activity,
  • the possibility of joining capital companies with other universities, research institutes or scientific institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences,
  • enabling universities and the Polish Academy of Sciences to set up so-called infrastructure companies dedicated to the management of research infrastructure, which can create e. g. well-equipped research laboratories with access to scientists and external companies,
  • enabling the Ministry of Science and Higher Education to conduct monitoring of the fate of doctoral students.

A solution has been introduced which gives the entrepreneur the opportunity to apply for the status of a research and development centre. This is possible, for example, in a situation where an entrepreneur whose main activity is research and development has revenues from the sale of goods, products and financial operations ranging from PLN 2.5 million to PLN 5.00 million, and when it accounts for at least 70% of manufactured products or services within the R&D framework.

Business development institutions are granted the right to provide financial and non-financial support to other entities:

  • enabling the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP) and the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR) to provide repayable financial assistance, e. g. loans, capital support, guarantees,
  • enabling the Office of Technical Supervision to provide support in the form of non-repayable financial or non-financial assistance to scientific and cultural bodies and institutions active in raising awareness of, inter alia, the producers and operators of technical equipment and popularising technical knowledge,

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