Accavallo & Company, LLC

Unlocking Tax Benefits: IRS R&D Credit for Food and Beverage Manufacturing

Unlocking Tax Benefits: IRS R&D Credit for Food and Beverage Manufacturing

In the realm of food and beverage manufacturing, innovation is the key to success. From the creation of new recipes and flavors to the development of safer packaging and adherence to rigorous food safety standards, the industry continuously strives to meet evolving consumer demands. In recognition of the importance of research and development (R&D) in this sector, the IRS offers a valuable incentive – the R&D tax credit – to encourage and support companies in their pursuit of advancement.

Qualifying for the R&D Credit:

The Research and Development (R&D) tax credit is a federal incentive designed to encourage companies to invest in innovation and technological advancement. For businesses in the food and beverage manufacturing industry, a range of activities may qualify for this credit:

  1. Food Science and Recipe Development: Companies engaged in the exploration of new recipes, flavors, and textures, as well as improvements in existing products, are eligible for the R&D credit. This includes efforts to enhance taste, nutritional value, and overall consumer appeal.
  2. Packaging and Food Safety: Developing innovative, eco-friendly, and safer packaging solutions is a vital aspect of food and beverage manufacturing. Activities aimed at enhancing food safety measures and ensuring compliance with industry standards also qualify for the credit.
  3. Health and Lifestyle Trends: As health and lifestyle preferences evolve, the industry adapts by creating innovative products that cater to these changing demands. Companies that invest in researching and producing health-conscious and sustainable options can claim the R&D credit.
  4. Manufacturing Process Development: Optimizing manufacturing processes for efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and quality improvements can qualify for the R&D credit. This includes activities that lead to the development of new equipment or methodologies.
  5. Regulatory Compliance: Navigating the complex web of food industry regulations requires significant research and development. Companies dedicated to ensuring compliance with changing regulatory requirements can claim the R&D credit.
  6. Transportation and Logistics: Streamlining transportation and logistics in the food and beverage industry can be a complex undertaking. Developing innovative systems and technologies to address these challenges is eligible for the R&D credit.


Eligibility Criteria:

To qualify for the R&D tax credit, food and beverage manufacturing companies must meet certain criteria:

  1. Technical Uncertainty: The company must demonstrate that it encountered technical uncertainties and encountered challenges that couldn’t be easily solved through routine practices or readily available information.
  2. Process of Experimentation: The company must have engaged in a systematic process of experimentation, including formulating hypotheses, testing different approaches, and refining methodologies to overcome technical uncertainties.
  3. Technological Innovation: The research activities must aim to create or improve a product, process, software, or formula with a technological component.
  4. Qualified Research Expenses (QREs): Qualified expenses include wages of employees directly involved in R&D activities, expenses related to supplies and materials used in R&D, and costs incurred for the usage of computers and equipment during R&D.


Benefits of the R&D Credit:

For eligible food and beverage manufacturing companies, the R&D tax credit offers significant benefits:

  1. Tax Savings: The R&D credit allows businesses to offset a portion of their federal income tax liability, leading to reduced tax burdens.
  2. Cash Flow Boost: Startups and small businesses can utilize the R&D credit to offset payroll taxes, thereby freeing up capital for further investment in innovation.
  3. Encouragement of Innovation: The credit incentivizes companies to invest in research and development, leading to a more competitive and progressive industry.
  4. Competitive Advantage: By investing in R&D, companies can stay ahead of their competition by bringing novel and improved products to market.


The IRS R&D credit is a powerful tool that supports and encourages innovation in business and reaches into food and beverage manufacturing industry. By taking advantage of the R&D credit, companies, regardless of their size, can boost their competitive edge, drive growth, and contribute to the continuous evolution of the food and beverage industry. As technology and consumer preferences continue to evolve, the R&D credit remains a beacon, guiding companies towards a future of progress and success.

If you are in need of assistance or have questions regarding the R&D credit for food and beverage manufacturing, or any possible eligible business, please contact our office at          (203) 925-9600 or [email protected]

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Sherri Fisher is a Tax Manager at Accavallo & Company, LLC.  Sherri has longstanding expertise in Trust and Estate Taxation, Eldercare, and Estate planning. Sherri appreciates the relationships she has built with estate planning attorneys and advisors, to provide a team approach to assisting her clients. Sherri also has seasoned experience in business and individual taxation and is partial to assisting start-ups in developing overall accounting and operating plans.

Prior to joining Accavallo & Company, LLC, Sherri was a manager in a large firm, servicing high net worth trust clients, business, and personal clients. She was also a Partner in a large bookkeeping firm, which specialized in cloud accounting systems for regional and national companies. Sherri led a team in assisting clients to organize their accounting systems.  She is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University with a B.S. degree in Accounting.    

Sherri’s experience includes working with companies and organizations in a variety of industries including:

  • Investment Trusts

  • DAPT and Family Investment Partnerships

  • Estate and Probate Administration

  • E-Commerce

  • Manufacturing

  • Construction

  • Real Estate Investment

  • Marketing and Service-based industries

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Sherri is an Intuit Advanced Pro Advisor, Intuit Future Firm Advisory Board member, member of the Valley WIN Network, and proudly served as past Connecticut Public School liaison for the Yale Tommy Fund for Childhood Cancer. Sherri enjoys time with her family, Cleveland sports, thrifting and gardening.