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IRS.gov Website
Publication 535
taxmap/pubs/p535-047.htm#en_us_publink1000209024

Research and 
Experimental Costs(p33)

rule
You can elect to amortize your research and experimental costs, deduct them as current business expenses, or write them off over a 10-year period (see Optional write-off method below).
If you elect to amortize these costs, deduct them in equal amounts over 60 months or more. The amortization period begins the month you first receive an economic benefit from the costs.
For a definition of "research and experimental costs" and information on deducting them as current business expenses, see chapter 7.
taxmap/pubs/p535-047.htm#en_us_publink1000209025

Optional write-off method.(p33)

rule
Rather than amortize these costs or deduct them as a current expense, you have the option of deducting (writing off) research and experimental costs ratably over a 10-year period beginning with the tax year in which you incurred the costs. For more information, see Optional Write-off of Certain Tax Preferences, later, and section 59(e) of the Internal Revenue Code.
taxmap/pubs/p535-047.htm#en_us_publink1000209026

Costs you can amortize.(p33)

rule
You can amortize costs chargeable to a capital account (see chapter 1) if you meet both of the following requirements.
taxmap/pubs/p535-047.htm#en_us_publink1000209027

How to make the election.(p33)

rule
To elect to amortize research and experimental costs, complete Part VI of Form 4562 and attach it to your income tax return. Generally, you must file the return by the due date (including extensions). However, if you timely filed your return for the year without making the election, you can still make the election by filing an amended return within 6 months of the due date of the return (excluding extensions). Attach Form 4562 to the amended return and write "Filed pursuant to section 301.9100-2" on Form 4562. File the amended return at the same address you filed the original return.
Your election is binding for the year it is made and for all later years unless you obtain approval from the IRS to change to a different method.