By John S. McClenahen A year before the current R&D tax credit is set to expire, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Washington, D.C., is pressing to make the credit permanent. The credit, which applies to incremental R&D outlays, has been renewed 10 times since 1981. "But it has been allowed to elapse enough times, usually for unrelated political reasons, that responsible companies cannot confidently assume it will always be there when planning and budgeting," says Monica McGuire, NAM's senior tax policy director. On Capitol Hill, two companion measures, H.R. 463 and S. 664, would make the R&D tax credit permanent and base it on a three-year rolling average of outlays. Manufacturers do more than 60% of all U.S. private R&D, and more than 75% of R&D credit dollars help pay the salaries of employees associated with R&D work, NAM says. Under the current law, to qualify for the credit, companies must do the R&D work in the U.S.