Design features of income-based tax incentives for R&D and innovation

Authors: Ana Cinta González Cabral, Pierce O’Reilly, Silvia Appelt, Fernando Galindo-Rueda and Tibor Hanappi

Tax incentives that provide preferential tax treatment to the incomes arising from research and development (R&D) and innovation activities, such as intellectual property regimes, have become widespread in recent years. This paper describes the key design features of tax incentives available in 49 member countries of the Inclusive Framework on BEPS (IF), covering all OECD countries and EU countries. It outlines differences in the design of such incentives that may translate into differences in the tax benefits offered. The information collected and reported in this paper is a first step towards a more systematic comparison of tax support policies for R&D and Innovation.

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Cost and uptake of income-based tax incentives for R&D and innovation

Authors: Silvia Appelt, Ana Cinta González Cabral, Tibor Hanappi, Fernando Galindo-Rueda and Pierce O’Reilly

Despite the increasing adoption of income-based tax incentives for R&D and innovation in the OECD area and beyond, evidence on the availability, design, generosity and actual cost of these incentives remains scarce. This report helps fill this gap by documenting government efforts to provide preferential tax treatment of economic outputs of innovation activities. Drawing on the responses of national contact points to the OECD KNOWINTAX surveys carried out in 2020 and 2021, it presents new evidence on the cost (foregone tax revenues) and uptake of income-based-tax incentives by businesses in 2019, and tracks their distribution by firm size and industry and their evolution over the 2000-2019 period.

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