How COVID is Creating R&D Tax Credit Opportunities

3 Minute Read
Posted by Randy Eickhoff on Jun 9, 2020 1:10:31 PM

Over the past few months, COVID-19 has impacted industries and economies on a global scale. As the pandemic continued to trigger new rules, regulations, and legislation, businesses in virtually every vertical found themselves struggling to navigate through significant revenue and consumer losses. Despite the widespread economic turmoil, various companies that specialize in innovation and technology still found themselves uniquely positioned to create R&D tax credit opportunities within their organizations.

The New Wave of Businesses Positioned to Expand Research and Development Initiatives

First launched in 1981, the research and development tax credit rewards U.S. organizations that design or develop software or other technologies. The credit considers qualifying research activities and expenditures to reward businesses that prioritize innovation and technology within their organizations. Several emerging industries have made shifts in their operations during the last few months to optimize research and development processes with potentially long-term results. Some of the most significant research and development pivots we’ve seen due to COVID-19 disruption include:

Video Conferencing
The rapid spread of COVID-19 forced many of us to work and learn from home. As a result, video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom, Google Classroom, and Microsoft teams, suddenly found themselves in high demand across virtually every age demographic – a trend that’s likely to continue even after coronavirus restrictions are fully lifted. Twitter recently announced that employees could opt to work from home indefinitely, with several other industry giants following suit. This new business trend delivers extensive research and development opportunities for video conferencing businesses to improve existing functionality or create entirely new technology to keep remote workers connected, engaged, and productive.

Virtual Reality
The virtual reality segment has also demonstrated several shifts and pivots since the COVID-19 crisis began altering our actual, collective reality. Before COVID-19, VR technology was often used primarily for entertainment. However, the post-pandemic landscape has presented multiple strategic and specific uses for virtual reality experiences. With travel restrictions still in place in various regions, virtual reality programs have enabled users to roam the world—without ever violating shelter-in-place orders. Some VR apps allow consumers to virtually explore their favorite cities and countries as a quarantine reprieve. Even U.S. colleges are leveraging the power of VR innovation. Some closed universities are offering virtual tours to potential students to give users an up-close glimpse into what campus life is like.

The telehealth industry has also seen a significant upswing since the outbreak of COVID-19. Designated as any interaction other than an in-person meeting between a health professional and patient, telemedicine has existed for decades. However, the coronavirus pandemic has steadily increased demand for zero contact patient experiences. Additionally, telehealth visits save time and drive overall convenience for both practitioners and patients, prompting businesses to focus on developing and improving several critical modalities such as remote patient monitoring apps, video conferencing, and streaming media.

Are You Optimizing Research and Development Opportunities for Your Business?

Do you have questions about research and development pivots in your industry since the COVID-19 outbreak? Acena Consulting’s R&D tax credit professionals can help you optimize cash flow opportunities using this lucrative, dollar-for-dollar incentive. Contact us today to learn more.


Randy Eickhoff

Randy Eickhoff

Acena Consulting President Randy Eickhoff, licensed CPA, has partnered with more than 200 companies during more than 20 years of experience securing tax credits and other government incentives. His corporate partners range from multinational technology firms to smaller, privately held manufacturing, sports, and technology enterprises.