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Self-assessing your R&D activities

When self-assessing your R&D activities against the legislated eligibility requirements, it’s important that you are diligent in judging whether your activities meet the eligibility criteria. You are responsible for making sure that your company’s registration and claim for the R&D Tax Incentive are correct. You must provide honest and accurate information to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (the department) and the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Using the services of an R&D tax adviser to assist with preparing your registration application and tax offset claim does not guarantee your eligibility.

The department may review R&D Tax Incentive claims to ensure they comply with the law either during or after registration. Similarly, the ATO may check if the R&D costs being claimed are eligible after registration.

Self-assessment process

In order to register and claim the R&D Tax Incentive, you will need to address the following questions:

  1. Is your company an eligible ‘R&D entity'?
  2. Have you undertaken eligible ‘R&D Activities’?
  3. Can you identify eligible expenditure incurred or assets used in the activities?
  4. Have you kept records which describe:
    • what you did
    • the expenditure you are claiming for
    • the assets you used
    • the connection between the expenditure incurred, the assets used and the activities conducted?

Self-assessment resources

Here is a range of resources to help you self-assess your eligibility for the R&D Tax Incentive:

  • The Guide to Interpretation

    This is a key R&D Tax Incentive document that will help you understand if your activities are eligible core R&D activities or supporting R&D activities.

  • Eligibility of activities (core and supporting R&D activities)

    This is a brief fact sheet on the eligibility of core and supporting R&D activities.

  • Sector Guidance

    Find examples of eligible and ineligible activities being assessed against the legislation in a range of hypothetical industry specific business scenarios. The sector guides also explore past findings and your record keeping obligations.

  • R&D Tax Incentive Snapshot

    This simple interactive online tool will step you through the R&D Tax Incentive to help you understand the key elements of the programme.

  • E-learning course

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

  • Events and workshops

    The department holds regular R&D Tax Incentive workshops for companies and consultants.

  • Resources Library

    The Resources Library contains all of the resources referenced above, plus further specific guidance on the programme.

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