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Federal R&D Tax Credit

Qualified small businesses may be eligible to claim a federal tax credit for costs related to their research and development activities, up to $250,000 per fiscal year. 

This credit is taken against your Social Security taxes, so your refund will be capped by the amount of Social Security taxes you owe. Your actual refund may be less than your total eligible credit, but don’t worry, you won’t lose the credit - you can carry it over into future years. 

Important: tax credit calculations can be very complicated—if set up incorrectly it may cause tax payment and filing issues down the road. To help make sure this is done accurately, we ask that our customers have accountant or expert support. 

Claim the R&D tax credit with Gusto

With Gusto, there are two ways to claim the credit—both require that an accountant set you up to do so. If you don’t have an accountant, you can work with Ardius (a Gusto company) to help claim the credit. 

Learn more about each option below.

  • Quarterly on Form 8974 (free for all customers)
    • Quarterly filings to claim the Federal R&D Tax Credit are free for all Gusto customers.
  • In real-time on payroll ($100/month in any month in which you claim the Federal R&D Tax Credit)
    • You’ll be charged $100/month in any month in which you claim the Federal R&D Tax Credit.

Once your company is set up to claim the credit, you can review summary reports about your Federal R&D Tax Credit in the Reports section of your account.

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