Tour de Finance: How Your Startup Can Reduce its Payroll Tax Costs using an R&D Tax Credit

For startups and small businesses with gross receipts of less than $5 million, the IRS has allowed up to $250,000 of an R&D credit to be applied against the company’s payroll tax liability.

IRS Code Section 41 – R&D credit – was created to give startups an added benefit in the processes of conducting research in the name of innovative product creation, even if these activities are not profitable.

So how do you, as a startup, use the R&D credit to offset your payroll tax liability? We'll tell you.


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Zsia Rosmarin, Partner, Withum

Based in the firm’s Morristown office, Zsia is a partner with over 20 years of experience in the accounting profession. She has an expertise in taxation and serves a variety of industries including manufacturing, consumer products and life sciences. Zsia assists corporate clients with various tax provisions and has extensive tax experience working with high-net-worth individuals and privately-held businesses. She also performs compliance work for public companies. Previously, she was a partner at a large national accounting firm and a senior manager at a “Big Four” firm.

Zsia graduated from the State University of New York, Albany, with a BS degree in accounting and earned her MS degree in taxation from the same institution. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA). In 2010 Zsia was honored as “Woman of the Year” by the American Woman’s Society of Certified Public Accountants of New Jersey. She resides in Somerset County, NJ.

Kevin McNulty, Principal, Withum

Based in the Firm’s New York office, Kevin is a Principal with a focus on Research and Development (“R&D”) Tax Credit work. He joined Withum in August of 2016 after spending several years at a Big 4 firm. With over 15 years of experience in R&D Tax Credits, Kevin works across diverse industries. He devotes the majority of his time to performing, managing and defending R&D tax credit studies and has worked with researchers, scientists, engineers and software developers in all industries. Kevin has successfully represented many clients involved with R&D audits at the state and federal level. In addition to his R&D responsibilities, Kevin also works on maximizing taxpayers Domestic Production Activity Deduction (Section 199) and is an Enrolled Agent (“EA”).

Kevin received his BBA degree in finance and an MBA in finance/investments from Baruch College. He resides in Forest Hills, NY.


James C. Bourke, Partner, Withum

Jim is a Partner, Director of Firm Technology and is the Firm’s Technology Niche Practice Leader. Jim has been a frequent speaker to many State CPA Societies, the AICPA and other organizations on topics specifically related to technologies used by the business community today. He has been consulted by numerous Firms throughout the United States on appropriateness of technologies being employed within the Firm and has also been a frequent speaker on related topics for the New Jersey Technology Council, NJ Biz Magazine and other organizations. Jim has authored many articles dealing with firm technology issues and was featured on the cover of past issues of Accounting Technology Magazine and Practical Accountant Magazine.

In Jim’s role as Technology Niche Practice Leader, Jim heads-up the Firm’s business development, audit, tax and consulting services areas for companies engaged in the technology sector. Jim works with technology companies from start-up to those ready to realize their exit plan and helps them every step of the way from navigating through capital infusion, traditional financing, equity transactions, tax incentives, etc.

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