Speaking of tech standards (see above), a congressional committee held a hearing today on the role of standards in boosting U.S. exports. This from Rep. Donna Edwards of Maryland:
"Standards can open up new or expanding markets to a U.S. company. However, standards can also serve as a barrier to trade, keeping U.S. companies out and sending profits elsewhere. When things go awry in the international standards realm – when someone tries to manipulate the standards system or rig it to their own ends – it really matters for U.S. companies and the U.S. economy."
This is a worthwhile debate since it is shedding light on the relative worth of tax breaks for high-tech industries. There are other ways to encourage investment besides subsidies and tax breaks. One is product standards. Creating industry standards eliminates much market uncertainty, including regulatory uncertainty. If manufacturers know product specs, they will be more willing to invest to expand product manufacturing. That alone would create as many, if not more, new jobs as the R&D tax credit.
My take: if the nomenclature is partly blamed fpr holding back electronics companies using the R&D Credit, why not change it to something like "Innovation Tax Credit". Many people think of themselves as real innovators; hey, if that works, we have at least one-third of the problem solved.
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Tax Point Advisors, Inc.