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Resources library

The resources library contains a list of the R&D Tax Incentive publications that are available from the department. This library is for reference purposes only, and should be used as needed.

Understanding the R&D activity definitions

R&D Tax Incentive: Guide to Interpretation

This document explains how legislated definitions of eligible R&D activities are interpreted and applied by the department. It also explains the types of activities that are excluded from being core R&D activities.

This is a key document to consult when self-assessing the eligibility of your R&D activities for the R&D Tax Incentive.

Record keeping

Compliance Readiness: the importance of record keeping

A guide on record keeping and preparing effective applications for registration of your R&D activities. Record keeping is an essential requirement under the R&D Tax Incentive. You must keep appropriate records to demonstrate the eligibility of your activities.

Snapshot of the programme

R&D Tax Incentive snapshot

The R&D Tax Incentive Snapshot website helps you explore the eligibility criteria for core and supporting R&D activities one step at a time.

Online training course

R&D Tax Incentive e-learning for Accountants and Tax Agents

An online course to help accountants and tax agents who may not be actively involved in the R&D Tax Incentive.

Examples of eligible activities

These documents and animations provide hypothetical examples of how companies undertaking R&D work in the nominated sectors self-assess that work against the eligibility criteria for the R&D Tax Incentive. Find illustrative examples of core and supporting R&D activities, overseas activities, record keeping and other areas that are important to work in these sectors.

Agrifood

Agrifood and the R&D Tax Incentive

Video still from baking stuff example animation video

Baking Stuff example

A company in the food industry conducts experiments to produce a new bread loaf range.

Biotechnology

Biotechnology and the R&D Tax Incentive

Video still of biofnatics example animation video

Biofnatics example

A biotechnology firm is experimentally developing a new biodegradable coronary stent.

Built environment

Built environment and the R&D Tax Incentive

Video still of enviroloo example animation video

Enviroloo example

A built environment company conducts experiments to iron out technical problems with a block of its new enviro toilet.

Energy

Energy and the R&D Tax Incentive

Video still of windwake example animation video

Windwake example

A company conducts experiments to build and test algorithms for a software model to predict noise flow from windfarms.

ICT

ICT and the R&D Tax Incentive

Manufacturing

Manufacturing and the R&D Tax Incentive

Video still of rutimech example animation video

Rutimech example

A company designs and builds a new type of anode for producing titanium and experimentally tests the new component.

Guidance on specific issues

  • Getting software development R&D Tax Incentive claims right

    This document provides information on areas that companies and their tax advisers need to consider carefully when self-assessing the eligibility of software development activities under the R&D Tax Incentive. This document highlights:

    • common errors that the department has noted in software development registrations
    • specific types of software development activities that are not of themselves core R&D activities.
  • Getting building and construction R&D Tax Incentive claims right

    This document provides information on areas that companies and their tax advisers need to consider carefully when self-assessing the eligibility of built environment activities under the R&D Tax Incentive. This document highlights some common errors that the department has noted in built environment registrations.

  • Getting mining R&D Tax Incentive claims right

    This document provides information on areas that companies and their tax advisers need to consider carefully when self-assessing the eligibility of mining sector-related activities under the R&D Tax Incentive. This document highlights some common errors that the department has noted in mining sector registrations.

  • Getting farming R&D Tax Incentive claims right

    This document provides information on areas that companies and their tax advisers need to consider carefully when self-assessing the eligibility of agrifood activities under the R&D Tax Incentive. This document highlights some common errors that the department has noted in agrifood registrations.

  • When could scaling-up involve eligible R&D activities?

    This document will help you understand the issues you need to consider for scaling-up activities. There is guidance to assist companies involved in scaling-up a process or device. Not all scaling-up activities will be eligible for the R&D Tax Incentive programme.

  • How should companies group R&D activities?

    Application forms to register your R&D activities should be completed so they are clear to a reader not familiar with the activities being described. This document provides information on the how and when companies might group R&D activities in the application form.

  • Specific Issue Guidance: Feedstock

    If the immediate product of your R&D activities will be sold or used by your company, then the feedstock rules may be triggered. If you wish to avoid registering activities that could trigger the feedstock rules, this document will be of assistance to you.

  • $100 million threshold registration administrative arrangements

    Learn about the administrative arrangements that the department and the ATO have agreed to regarding the $100 million threshold for the R&D offsets.

Applying the Law

The following documents are de-identified summaries of an actual finding conducted on real companies undertaking real activities. The Applying the Law series provides examples of how the department has and will apply the law in various situations.

  • Mining projects to extract minerals - 2016/01

    A company undertook a project to extract gold from a primary ore body. The activity was claimed to be an experimental activity but involved trial mining and processing using equipment commonly used in the mining industry. The department found the activity was not eligible for the R&D Tax Incentive because it relied on existing knowledge and did not involve an experiment.

  • No new knowledge - agriculture - 2016/02

    A farming company undertook activities to improve the sustainability of a farm. The department found that the activities were not eligible for the R&D Tax Incentive because they did not generate new knowledge, as a competent professional could have determined the outcome without conducting experiment.

  • Whole of farm claim - 2016/03

    A farming company undertook activities to change its practices for building soil fertility into its productive land. The department found that the activities were not eligible for the R&D Tax Incentive because the scale of the claimed activity was not consistent with a significant purpose of generating new knowledge.

Findings

The following guides will help you understand the purpose of Findings and how you can use Advance and Overseas Findings to gain certainty about your entitlements under the R&D Tax Incentive.

  • Guide to findings

    Get detailed information on types of formal findings that can be made under the R&D Tax Incentive, including the process and the possible outcomes.

  • Compliance Readiness: Risk reviews and findings

    Summary information on risk review processes the department undertakes, and findings under the R&D Tax Incentive. This document includes the expectations the department has of companies that are subject to a review or finding, and the expectations that companies can have of the department.

  • What does 'not available in Australia' mean?

    Find guidance on how the department interprets the phrase ‘not available in Australia’.  It is recommended that you read this document if you want to apply for an Overseas Finding.

  • Overseas Findings: How long does an Overseas Finding last?

    Provides guidance on how long a positive decision by Innovation and Science Australia on an Overseas Finding will last.

  • Large Business Review Guide

    The document explains what large businesses can expect from the department when it undertakes a review of the business’s registered activities.  It also explains the department’s expectations from large business.

  • Integrity Assurance Framework

    Sets out the department’s approach to ensuring the integrity of the R&D Tax Incentive programme through guidance, awareness raising, risk reviews and findings. The document includes what you can expect from the department and what the department expects from you.

Research Service Providers

  • Why conduct your R&D with a RSP?

    This document explores the reasons why you might engage a Registered Research Provider to undertake research for you.

  • List of research providers

    A list of organisations that have registered with the department to become a Registered Research Provider. The list includes the areas in which each registered organisation has identified it is able to conduct research in.

  • How do I register as an RSP?

    This document will explain to you how you can register with the department to become a Registered Research Provider.

  • RSP Application notes

    This document will help you fill out the application form to become a Registered Research Provider.

Fact sheets

The facts sheets below provide summary information on important topics.

  • R&D Tax Incentive at a Glance
  • R&D Tax: What Does it Offer?
  • Fact sheet for accountants
  • Record-keeping and R&D planning
  • Registration information sheet

General guidance for the programme

  • Customer information guide

    The Customer Information Guide provides information on most aspects of the R&D Tax Incentive programme.

  • Overview

    This document provides a high level overview of the R&D Tax Incentive.

  • Simplified worked examples

    This document shows simplified examples of the application of eligible expenditure, the R&D tax offsets and the amount of the reduction in tax liability. The examples shown span a range of scenarios.

  • Frequently Asked Questions -

    The frequently asked questions document answers the questions that are often asked about the programme.

  • Myths and Facts

    This document corrects a small number of misconceptions about the programme.

Customer stories

Application notes

Application notes can help you with filling in application forms for the R&D Tax Incentive.

  • Registration application notes -

    This document contains notes to help you fill out the application form to register R&D activities.

  • HTML5 Advance/Overseas Finding application notes

    This document contains notes to help you fill out the application form for an Advance or Overseas Finding. This version of the notes is for application forms that were downloaded after 9 January 2017.

  • PDF Smartform Advance/Overseas Finding application notes

    This document contains notes to help you fill out the application form for an Advance or Overseas Finding. This version of the notes is for application forms that were downloaded before 9 January 2017.

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