Democrat seeks to expand research credit

A Senate Democratic tax writer is seeking to expand the popular credit for corporate research.

Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy: Dems raise new questions about Pruitt's security | EPA rules burning wood is carbon neutral | Fourth GOP lawmaker calls for Pruitt's ouster | Court blocks delay to car efficiency fines Dems: Pruitt’s office security sweep was subpar GOP chairman probes Pruitt’s four email addresses MORE (D-Del.) wants to increase the credit for qualifying research expenses to 25 percent, up from the current 20 percent.

The Delaware Democrat also is looking to expand the pool of who can claim the credit, to investors in small research companies and to businesses who are collaborating with other outfits on research projects.

“Private investment in R&D is the lifeblood of innovation,” Carper said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the current R&D credit is too small, too complicated, poorly targeted, and not accessible to some research companies, particularly smaller businesses.”

The research credit is one of the more than 50 temporary tax breaks that expired at the end of 2013. The House voted to extend the incentive for good this year, with Republicans arguing, among other things, that Congress had kept the credit alive on an off-and-on basis for some three decades.

But the Senate is seeking one more temporary extension of the preference, with a final deal not likely until after November’s election.