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IRS offers guidance on how taxpayers should report their research and experimentation expenses when filling out the Schedule M-3, which the nation's largest taxpayers must use to reconcile their tax and book income. In general, IRS says that taxpayers who use a current deduction method of accounting for these expenses under tax code Section 174(a) do not need to provide detail on a project-by-project or product-by-product basis in the M-3 supporting schedules. However, those who account for R&D expenditures under the deferral and amortization method of Section 174(b) must offer detail on that project-by-project basis, IRS says in an FAQ on its website.
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