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Engineering and the Research & Development Tax Credit


The R&D Tax Credit recognizes engineering as a hard science along with chemistry, biology and physics. Additionally, many engineering firms do not realize they are engaging in R&D activities on a daily basis. Typically, engineers encounter complex issues, evaluate various solutions, and solve problems through an iterative design process.

The R&D Tax Credit provides an incentive for this process. Whether firms provide Civil, Structural, or MEP engineering services, there is a high probability that they will have qualifying activities.

Two Men and One Woman Engineers Looking at a Laptop Screen
Engineer Working on the Design of a Four Wheel Machine

Examples of Eligible R&D Activities 


  • Conceptualizing ideas and designs
  • Evaluating site features and climate conditions related to design and development efforts
  • Developing and designing master plans
  • Creating new and innovative designs for various structures
  • Generating construction documents
  • Computer-aided design (CAD) and building information modeling (BIM) activities
  • Producing new or innovative designs for sites or building systems to achieve LEED certification
  • Collaboration and evaluation between consultants on means and methods for constructibility
  • Engaging in value engineering activities