October 2016 edition

Have your say on the R&D Review report

The R&D Tax Incentive Review panel released its recommendations and findings on 28 September and the R&D community, businesses, industry and interested parties are invited to provide feedback on the report’s findings. A series of feedback sessions are being held around the country and an online survey is also available for those who can’t attend a session in person.

For more information about the Review and to find out how you can have your say, visit the R&D Tax Incentive Review page on business.gov.au.

Change to R&D Tax Incentive rate of assistance

A small reduction to the R&D Tax Incentive rate of benefit has been implemented by the Government as a cost-saving measure.The R&D Tax Incentive has lowered the rates of refundable and non-refundable offsets by 1.5 percentage points to 43.5 per cent and 38.5 per cent respectively. The change will be applied to businesses with income years starting on or after 1 July 2016.

The R&D Tax Incentive will continue to support thousands of Australian companies each year to invest in R&D to develop new products, processes and services to take to market here and overseas.

For more information and to view what funding support is available visit the R&D Tax Incentive page on business.gov.au.

eLearning course to help tax agents and accountants advise their clients

Accountants and tax agents who have innovative companies on their books but don’t have their own R&D Tax Incentive specialist in the firm can now access an online learning tool 24/7.

The free e-learning course will provide participants with:

  • a better understanding of the R&D Tax Incentive programme, its benefits and how it operates
  • guidance regarding programme eligibility and compliance requirements, including self-assessment

Accountants or tax agents working with SME clients conducting R&D should understand the rules of the R&D Tax Incentive programme so they can give their clients the right advice.

Visit the R&D Tax Incentive e-learning course website to learn more.

Tribunal rules against company's late application

In 2014, Silver Mines Limited applied to register its past R&D activities for the 2010-11 [under the R&D Tax Concession] and 2011-12 [under the R&D Tax Incentive] income years. Innovation Australia refused to register these applications. Silver Mines Limited requested an internal review of Innovation Australia's decision - which was affirmed - and the company applied to the AAT for an external review.

It was found the circumstances causing Silver Mines Limited's delay were not outside its control. This was not sufficient to justify granting an extension of time of 12 to 14 months to allow its R&D registrations.

The AAT stated the longer the period of time an applicant seeks for an extension for R&D registration requires stronger explanation, evidence and justification to support any extra time for their late registration.

Find out more about the AAT review and decision.

Business Research Innovation Initiative (BRII)

A new $1 million grant is now available for R&D focussed SMEs to develop new solutions to five government challenges:

  1. On the spot technology for measuring pyrethroid surface residue
  2. Tracking the effect and value of information products
  3. Digitally enabled community engagement in policy and programme design
  4. Improve transparency and reliability of water market information
  5. Sharing of information nationally to ensure child safety.

Full details on each of the challenges and the grant through the Business Research Innovation Initiative (BRII) is available on business.gov.au/BRII. Successful applicants will receive a grant of up to $100,000 to study the feasibility of their innovative solution for up to three months.

Successful feasibility study grantees may then be eligible for a further grant of up to $1 million to develop a prototype or proof of concept within 18 months. The Australian Government will then consider buying the solution. SMEs retain the intellectual property rights to their solution and can market it across the world.

You can find out more about BRII at the free Information Sessions being held in capital cities throughout October – see dates and locations.

To apply complete the online BRII application before 12.00PM AEDST on 30 November 2016.

Thanks for your feedback. If you have any ideas on how we can improve, we'd love to hear them.

Please provide your comments in the feedback form.