Interested in the R&D Tax Incentive? Make sure you've read all the guidance information before you apply.

Overview of the R&D Tax Incentive

The Research and Development Tax Incentive (R&DTI) offers a tax offset for companies conducting eligible R&D activities. It encourages investment in R&D to help your company to grow and innovate which generates benefits for the Australian economy.

As well as providing financial support, the R&DTI can be an opportunity to collaborate with registered Research Service Providers (RSPs).


What do you get?

Tax-offset for eligible R&D activities.

Who is this for?

Eligible companies conducting eligible R&D activities.

R&D Tax Incentive at a glance

What tax offset benefits are available

Depending on your company’s annual turnover, the R&DTI provides either a refundable or non-refundable tax offset.

  • 43.5% refundable tax offset is available to companies with an annual turnover of less than $20 million.
  • 38.5% non-refundable tax offset is available to companies with an annual turnover is more than $20 million.

From 1 July 2021 these offset rates will be amended with the introduction of enhanced reforms to the R&DTI.

Understanding eligible R&D Activities

The difference between a R&D project and a R&D activity

R&D projects are made up of a number of steps that you must take for a project to succeed. These steps are R&D activities. Each R&D activity will have of one or more actions that you must complete to achieve an activity outcome.

The program supports R&D activities that can be shown to follow a set of specific actions. These actions must meet the requirements set out in the definition of an eligible R&D activity.

The definition of an eligible R&D activity under the R&DTI

Eligible R&D activities are defined in the legislation that underpins the program. The Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 identifies eligible activities as either core R&D activities or supporting R&D activities.

How does it work

The R&DTI is a self-assessment program

Before you register for the R&DTI:

  • You must self-assess whether your entity is eligible.
  • You must self-assess if your R&D activities are eligible.
  • You must self-assess that your R&D expenditure is eligible.
  • You must keep records and evidence to support your registration and claim.

To help ensure your eligibility you should read the legislation. You should also review supporting information available here including the Guide to Interpretation.

Joint administration 

The R&DTI is jointly administered by:

  • AusIndustry on behalf of Industry, Innovation and Science Australia
  • the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

You need to register your R&D activities with AusIndustry then claim your tax offset through your annual tax return with the ATO.

Steps you need to follow

Applying for the R&DTI is an annual process. Each year, you should review the following steps as part of your application process. These steps help to ensure you and your R&D activities are eligible.

Important considerations

While we can support you as you apply, it's your responsibility to ensure your application and claim meet the program requirements.

You may consider consulting an R&D tax adviser or tax agent to prepare your application for registration and later claim. However, this does not guarantee your eligibility.

Learn more

Listen to our podcast series to better understand the R&DTI.

Find out how to self-assess your company and R&D activities.

Learn what happens if your registration is reviewed by AusIndustry.

How to apply

To apply, you'll need to use our customer portal. This requires you to link your myGovID to your company ABN to get access.

You may consider doing this while you review the R&D Tax Incentive guidance here. We have provided information to help you with this process.

Learn more about applying using our customer portal.

Need help?

  • Contact us for help with your application or to find out more.

  • Monday – Friday, 8am – 8pm across Australia