Applying for annual registration
To claim the R&D tax offset in your annual income tax return, you must first register your R&D activities under the R&D Tax Incentive.
You must register your activities:
- for each income year you want to claim the offset
- within 10 months of the end of your company’s income year, and
- before you lodge the company income tax return in which you are claiming the offset.
Use the application form to apply for registration of your R&D activities for the R&D Tax Incentive.
Upon Registering, you will receive a unique registration number that you must include in your claim in your company tax return.
Important: We experience a significant increase in registrations toward peak periods leading up to the statutory deadline, which can delay you receiving your registration number. Apply early to ensure that we can register your application ahead of your company tax return due date with the Australian Taxation Office.
You may wish to use the Register R&D Activities Application Notes for help with completing your application.
Each time you apply, make sure you download a new version of the application form. You can pre-fill the application form with data from the previous year's application. However, it’s important to note that the latest version of the application form may have new fields.
Each application form you download can only be submitted once. If you will be submitting applications for more than one R&D entity, you will need to download a new form for each entity.
Applying for an advance or overseas finding
Use the Advance/Overseas Finding application notes for help with completing the form.
If you are doing most of your R&D in Australia, but must do some of your R&D overseas because it can’t be done in Australia, you may be able to claim an offset for your overseas expenditure if you obtain an Overseas Finding.
An Overseas Finding is a finding by Innovation and Science Australia about whether the R&D activities you conduct outside Australia are eligible for expenditure claims.
An Overseas Finding application also automatically includes an Advance Finding application for the overseas activities, to determine if the activities are eligible activities for the R&D Tax Incentive. Overseas activities must have a significant scientific link to a core R&D activity conducted in Australia.
To get an Overseas Finding, you must submit an application before the end of the first income year in which you start the overseas R&D activities. Your application needs to include detailed information about:
- the R&D activities you have conducted in Australia which relate to the overseas activities
- the overseas R&D activities themselves.
If you are unsure whether your company’s R&D activities are eligible for the R&D Tax Incentive, you can request an Advance Finding by the department.
You must submit an application for an Advance Finding before the end of the first income year in which the activities were conducted.
You can request Advance Findings for:
- activities you conduct in the current income year, whether you start or complete them in that year
- activities you propose to conduct in the subsequent two income years.
You will still need to submit an application to register your R&D activities after an Advance Finding. You do not need an Advance Finding in order to submit an application to register your activities.
How long will it take to register my application?
We aim to generate your registration number within 10 business days, however this may take longer, for example during peak periods leading up to the statutory deadline circumstances.
As circumstances may cause a longer registration period, we have standard timeframes in place to balance our timely response with program integrity.
This standard aims to ensure that 95% of Applications for registration of R&D activities processed within:
- 40 business days for first time registrants,
- 20 business days for registrants that have applied within 6 months after the end of the income period, and
- 80 business days for registrations submitted from 6 to 10 months after the end of the income period.
These timeframes are also available on the Department's Portfolio Budget Statement.
There are circumstances where an application can take longer, such as examinations, complex registrations, or delays during peak periods, so ensure that you apply early!
For all questions about your registration number, please contact our registration team on 13 28 46 between 9-5, Mon-Fri AEDT.