February 2017 edition

Sectoral Guidance has been updated

The R&D Tax Incentive sector guides have been updated and can be found below:

Four Specific Issue Guidance products that supplement some of the sector guides have also been released.  This guidance is important reading for companies and their tax advisors that are assessing activities for eligibility in these industry sectors

The new editions of the sector guides seek to clarify areas where some registrations under the programme have been found to be ineligible.

A Refresh of the Sector Guidance

Following the updates to the current guides, the department is undertaking an in depth refresh of how we deliver sectoral guidance.

We are interested in engaging with you to understand how we can best provide clear, concise and relevant information. If you are interested in being involved in this process please register via email to r&dtaxincentive@industry.gov.au.

The refresh will be undertaken during the first half of 2017 and we will be contacting interested parties at different stages throughout this period. At the completion of this process the refreshed guidance will be made available in Sector guidance.

The new Advance/Overseas Finding form is now available

The R&D Tax Incentive Advance/Overseas Finding form has been redesigned and is now accessible via the How to apply page.

The improved application form enhances the customer experience and addresses concerns that were raised in relation to the previous form. The design and workflow of the new form better guides applicants to provide specific information on their R&D activities. The form also provides additional help to better comply with the requirements, tests and conditions in the legislation and to consider previous decisions, including those arising from Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) cases.

Access the new Advance/Overseas Finding form now.

What if I have started completing the previous form?

If you accessed a form before 9 January 2017, you will have downloaded a PDF SmartForm application to your own computer. You may continue completing this form to apply for an Advance or Overseas Finding until 30 June 2017. If you have chosen to use this form you should refer to the following application notes for guidance - SmartForm Advance/Overseas Finding application notes.

Do you have a question about the form? Contact us

R&D customer story - When challenges create opportunities

Photo of de Bruin Harvester in the field

Photo of Harvester in the field.

With the local sawmilling industry in decline, Mt Gambier business de Bruin Engineering decided to combat a dwindling customer base by investing in research and development in an entirely new field – agriculture.

In 2010 the business won the licence to manufacture an innovative weed controller – the de Bruin Harrington Seed Destructor (HSD), which was invented by a Western Australian farmer and commercialised by the Grains Research and Development Council after collaboration with the University of Western Australia and the University of South Australia.

The investment is beginning to pay off, with de Bruin Engineering increasing its staff numbers to meet growing demand for the innovative machinery which offers broadscale farmers a mechanical way to combat herbicide-resistant weeds.

Before winning the licence for the HSD, de Bruin Engineering had no products as such – it was a general engineering business that serviced the 60,000-strong greater Mt Gambier region.

While this side of the business continues, the business is excited by the new opportunities the HSD provides.

“All of the customers for the HSD are so far Western Australian broadscale farmers – a market that had never heard of us before,” says General Manager, John Millhouse.

“We have been pleasantly surprised by the strong demand for the HSD.”

In the first year, the company built and sold two of the $198,000 units, but found there were some reliability issues with the belt drive system, which required significant R&D to resolve.

“We had to spend about $250,000 in R&D in the first year to improve the design, which involved commissioning a hydraulic model,” Mr Millhouse said. “The new model HSD we have developed is proving much more successful – we are building five units this year.”

This R&D was supported by the Australian Government’s R&D Tax Incentive.

The business’ investment in the HSD may also lead to new opportunities for innovative solutions for the agricultural industry.

“We knew nothing about farming when we started, and we’re not experts now, but we do know a lot more. One of the things we are discovering is that there are opportunities to do things better. With Australia’s reputation and standing as a ‘food bowl’, we are confident the future is bright for us,” Mr Millhouse said.

More sector spcific customer stories are available to read in Sector guidance.

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