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Research credit: recent federal cases point to a challenging examination environment

January 9, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST


Participants of the live webinar will be eligible for 1.5 free CPE credit.


During 2019, federal courts decided several federal research credit cases in favor of the government – some on procedural grounds and some on substantive matters. The decisions provide new insight into how the IRS examines credit claims under IRC Section 41 and what the courts view as relevant or required.

This webcast will be of strong interest for taxpayers currently claiming the federal research credit, and who are contemplating amended return claims or future initial credit claims. The webcast panel includes Ernst & Young LLP’s National Tax Department research credit leaders, as well as a member of our Tax Policy and Controversy practice.

These federal court decisions in favor of the government point to an increasingly challenging examination environment with respect to research credit claims. The panel will discuss the important facts described in the cases, the arguments made by the parties and the reasoning of the judges. The panelists will also discuss how these 2019 cases are already influencing IRS examinations of credit claims, and what taxpayers may encounter in examinations beginning in 2020. Additionally, practical steps taxpayers can take with their credit claims to address the concerns expressed by the courts will be addressed.

In combination with the above, the below areas will also be discussed:

  • Requirements for amended return claims
  • Proving the availability of the taxpayer to use a “start-up” fixed base percentage
  • Substantiating eligibility to claim the research credit
  • Audit ready documentation, statistical sampling, and litigation responsiveness


  • Alexa Claybon, Principal, National Tax Department, Ernst & Young LLP
  • Richard Fultz, Executive Director, National Tax Department, Ernst & Young LLP


  • David Hudson, Principal, National Tax Department, Ernst & Young LLP


Field of Study
Specialized Knowledge

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