Record keeping

When applying to register for the R&D Tax Incentive, you must keep records that demonstrate your activities meet the eligibility criteria for the programme as defined in the legislation.

Why you must keep records

If your registration is selected for a review by the department, you may be asked to provide the contemporaneous records (records prepared at the time the R&D activities were being conducted) you used to self-assess your eligibility. Maintaining good records can reduce your compliance costs and risks in the event that your registration is selected for a review.

Making sure you keep good records, along with having effective business systems and processes in place, will also help you comply with and receive the maximum benefit from the R&D Tax Incentive.

Type of records to keep

Records you need to keep will vary depending on the nature of your business and the R&D activities you are conducting. If a company has no contemporaneous evidence that an activity has been conducted and met all of the eligibility criteria, then that activity is not eligible for the R&D Tax Incentive.

Examples of evidence you may use to demonstrate your eligibility under the programme include:

  • design of experiments
  • project planning documents
  • project records and laboratory notebooks
  • records of trial runs
  • progress reports and minutes of project meetings
  • test protocols, test results, analysis of test results and conclusions
  • photographs and videos
  • samples, prototypes, scrap and other artefacts
  • contracts
  • records of resources allocated to the project (e.g. asset usage logs)
  • staff time sheets
  • tax invoices.

Find out more

To learn more about your record keeping obligations under the programme, refer to Compliance Readiness – the importance of record keeping.

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