You can carry forward your R&D tax credit; unused credits can be forwarded for up to 20 years. By doing this, you are applying your unused tax credits to future tax liabilities. This is usually opted for by companies that didn’t turn a profit. In these cases, they have two key options. You can choose between giving up your tax benefit in exchange for an immediate refund or applying the loss to your tax return from the previous year or future years without any time limit.