This story can also be found within the NAM’s R&D action center.
Corning Incorporated has been turning out innovations for well over a century and a half—since 1851, to be exact. But a recent change in tax policy that makes R&D more expensive could have a significant impact on the company’s ability to build on its impressive history.
- “We have a wonderful track record for innovation,” said Tymon Daniels, vice president of tax at Corning, a material sciences manufacturing company with a focus on glass.
- “In 1897, when Thomas Edison was working on electric lights, he came to us to make the glass bulbs. 110 years later, when Steve Jobs was working on the iPhone, he came to us to make the glass used for the screen. More recently, we figured out a way to make special glass vials that sped up production of the COVID vaccine. … We’ve been able to do this because of R&D.”
The issue: Until the beginning of 2022, businesses could deduct 100% of their R&D expenses in the same year they incurred the expenses. Starting this year, however, a tax law change requires businesses to amortize or spread their R&D expenses out over a period of five years, making it more expensive to invest in growth and innovation.
The impact: According to Daniels, the abrupt change in a policy that has existed for decades poses a serious challenge for the company.
- “The R&D deduction has been in existence for over 70 years—a very good tax policy. Requiring the amortization of R&D expenses is a dramatic shift to a very bad tax policy,” said Daniels. “It causes a significant spike in cash taxes.”
The trade-offs: At a time when company leaders are trying to make decisions about how to invest finite resources, a significant increase in the tax burden can hinder future growth plans, Daniels emphasized.
- “Our C-suite is trying to make decisions about big issues like capital expenditures and jobs,” said Daniels. “This makes those decisions harder and comes at a time when the economic outlook is highly uncertain.”
The action: Corning is asking Congress to find a solution, and quickly.
- “We need lawmakers to extend the full deductibility of R&D expenses,” said Daniels. “If Congress can’t make a permanent fix, then at least making full deductibility retroactive to 2022 and extending it through 2025 would still be good. Otherwise, the impact to Corning may be extra cash taxes of roughly $150 million in 2022 alone.”
The last word: “Requiring the amortization of R&D is all I’m thinking about right now,” said Daniels.
Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the midterm elections, the National Association of Manufacturers released its policy roadmap, “Competing to Win,” a comprehensive blueprint featuring immediate solutions for bolstering manufacturers’ competitiveness. It is also a roadmap for policymakers on the laws and regulations needed to strengthen the manufacturing industry in the months and years ahead.
With the country facing rising prices, snarled supply chains and geopolitical turmoil, manufacturers are outlining an actionable competitiveness agenda that Americans across the political spectrum can support. “Competing to Win” includes the policies manufacturers in America will need in place to continue driving the country forward.
“‘Competing to Win’ offers a path for bringing our country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The NAM is putting forward a plan filled with ideas that policymakers could pursue immediately, including solutions to urgent problems, such as energy security, immigration reform, supply chain disruptions, the ongoing workforce shortage and more. Manufacturers have shown incredible resilience through difficult times, employing more workers now than before the pandemic, but continued resilience is not guaranteed without the policies that are critical to the state of manufacturing in America.”
The NAM and its members will leverage “Competing to Win” to shape policy debates ahead of the midterm elections, in the remainder of the 117th Congress and at the start of the 118th Congress—including in direct engagement with lawmakers, for grassroots activity, across traditional and digital media and through events in key states and districts as we did following the initial rollout of the roadmap in 2016.
The document focuses on 12 areas of action, and all policies are rooted in the values that have made America exceptional and keep manufacturing strong: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.
Learn more about how manufacturers are leading and about the industry’s competitiveness agenda at nam.org/competing-to-win.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org