Examination of registrations

Key information

  • You are responsible for making sure you meet the eligibility criteria for the program. Registration of activities alone does not mean that these activities are eligible.
  • Your registration (or registrations) may be examined to see if they comply with the eligibility requirements of the program.
  • To be eligible for this program, activities must be supported by records you kept during the time you conducted your R&D which you used to self-assess your eligibility (known as contemporaneous records). If your registration is examined, you will be asked to provide these records to prove the eligibility of registered activities.
  • If your registration is examined, you will have 30 days to provide evidence. A further period of up to 14 days may be granted on request in accordance with the Decision-making Principles.
  • The examination of your registration may lead to a Finding about the eligibility of all or some of your registered activities. You may need to amend your tax return if any of your registered activities are found to be ineligible.

The R&D Tax Incentive is a self-assessment program, which means you are responsible for making sure you meet the eligibility criteria for the program. Registration of activities alone does not mean they are eligible core or supporting R&D activities.

We regularly examine registrations to ensure registrants understand and comply with the eligibility requirements of the program. We may examine your registration either prior to or after your R&D activities are registered. It’s important to understand the process so you are ready if your registration is chosen for examination.

Pre-registration examination

In a pre-registration examination, your application for registration is assessed against the eligibility criteria of the program. We will contact you during this process and ask you to provide contemporaneous records which prove the eligibility of each of your activities. You will have 30 days to provide your records to us. If the evidence cannot be provided within the 30 days, you or your nominated contact can request an extension in accordance with the Decision-making Principles. This allows for a further period of up to 14 days, if you, or your nominated contact, explain why the evidence cannot be given in time and confirm that the evidence can be given within 14 days after that time.

We may organise a meeting to discuss your registration, either via teleconference, videoconference, or a site visit. Should we request a meeting, it is recommended that this meeting be arranged as early as possible, and that the technical staff working on the R&D be present at the meeting. This will avoid delays in the examination.

Post-registration examination of registration and Findings

In a post-registration examination, your registration (or registrations) is assessed against the eligibility criteria of the program. We will contact you during this process and ask you to provide contemporaneous records which prove the eligibility of each of your activities. You will have 30 days to provide your records to us. If the evidence cannot be provided within the 30 days, you or your nominated contact can request an extension in accordance with the Decision-making Principles. This allows for a further period of up to 14 days, if you, or your nominated contact, explain why the evidence cannot be given in time and confirm that the evidence can be given within 14 days after that time.

We may organise a meeting to discuss your registration, either via teleconference, videoconference, or a site visit. Should we request a meeting, it is recommended that this meeting be arranged as early as possible, and that the technical staff working on the R&D be present at the meeting. This will avoid delays in the examination.

The examination of your registration may lead to a Finding about the eligibility of all or some of your registered activities. Findings enable Innovation and Science Australia (the statutory authority responsible for administering the program) and its delegates to determine if activities in your specific circumstances are eligible for the R&D Tax Incentive.

You cannot claim an offset for activities found to be ineligible.

If you disagree with a Finding, you can apply for an Internal Review of the decision. An Internal Review will confirm, vary or set aside the original Finding. If you disagree with an Internal Review decision, you can apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a further review of that decision. The AAT can provide an independent review of decisions made by the Australian Government.

We are here to help you ‘get it right’

AusIndustry is committed to supporting innovative Australian businesses. We are here to support you to understand how to apply for and comply with the R&D Tax Incentive program.

If you are currently under review or examination, please contact your case manager. Their details are on the letters we have sent to you or your advisor.

For general questions about the process, you can call our contact centre on 13 28 46.

More information

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