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Office of State Tax Commissioner, Ryan Rauschenberger : State of North Dakota
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600 E. Boulevard Ave.
  Bismarck, ND 58505-0599
  328.7088 phone
  701.328.3700 fax
  877.328.7088 toll-free

Income Tax Incentives

Ag Commodity Processing Facility Investment Tax Credit
Angel Fund Investment Credit
Automation Credit
Biodiesel Tax Credits
Biomass, Geothermal, Solar, or Wind Energy Credit
Certified Nonprofit Development Corporation Investment Credit
Internship Employment Credit
Microbusiness Investment and Employment Credit
Seed Capital Investment Credit
Wage & Salary Credit
Workforce Recruitment Credit

Research Expense Credit

An individual, estate, trust, partnership, corporation, or limited liability company is allowed an income tax credit for conducting research in North Dakota. The credit is equal to a percentage of the excess of qualified research expenses in North Dakota over the base amount in North Dakota.

"Qualified research expenses" and "base amount" have the same meaning as defined under federal income tax law (I.R.C. 41). The applicable percentage is 25% for the first $100,000 of excess expenses in a tax year. For excess expenses over $100,000 in a year, the applicable percentage for tax years 2007 through 2016 is:

  • 20%, if qualified research in North Dakota first begins in 2007 through 2010, or
  • 7% for 2007, 11% for 2008, 14% for 2009, and 18% for 2010 through 2016, if qualified research in North Dakota began before 2007, or
  • 8%, if qualified research in North Dakota first begins after 2010.

For tax years after 2016, the applicable percentage for excess expenses over $100,000 in a year is 8% for all taxpayers, regardless of when qualified research first begins. For taxpayers who began qualified research in North Dakota before January 1, 2007, the maximum credit allowed in any year is $2 million, and any credit over this amount is not allowed in any year. In the case of a passthrough entity, such as a partnership or S corporation, the credit is passed through to its owners in proportion to their ownership interests.

The credit allowed to a corporation included in a consolidated North Dakota income tax return may be used to reduce the aggregate tax liability of all corporations in the return. This does not apply to tax credits received or purchased from other taxpayers. An unused credit may be carried back three tax years and carried forward up to fifteen tax years. Subject to certain conditions, a taxpayer may sell, transfer, or assign up to $100,000 of its unused tax credit to another taxpayer if the taxpayer selling the credit is certified by the Department of Commerce Division of Economic Development and Finance to be a primary sector business with annual gross revenues of less than $750,000 that conducts qualified research in North Dakota for the first time after December 31, 2006.

See the following links for more information:

  • Certification as a qualified research and development company To obtain certification as a qualified research and development company for purposes of becoming eligible to transfer an unused research expense credit, an Application for Research and Development Company Certification must be completed and submitted to the North Dakota Commerce Department's Division of Economic Development and Finance.

    Questions relating to certification should be directed to the North Dakota Commerce Department's Division of Economic Development and Finance as follows:
    North Dakota Commerce Department
    Division of Economic Development and Finance
    PO Box 2057
    Bismarck ND 58503
    Phone: 701.328.5300
    Web site: http://www.business.nd.gov/
    E-mail: plucy@nd.gov
  • Transfer of unused tax credit If an eligible taxpayer (transferor) elects to transfer an unused research expense tax credit to another taxpayer (transferee), the transferor and transferee must jointly complete and file Form CTS, Credit Transfer Statement, with the North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner within thirty days after the date the transfer (or purchase) agreement is executed. See the instructions to Form CTS for all of the eligibility and reporting requirements. Contact the Office of State Tax Commissioner to obtain Form CTS.

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