Argent Minerals Ltd, a base metal explorer announced to the market in January 2019 that AusIndustry had issued a finding that the company’s Registered Activities for FY16 and FY17 were not eligible R&D Activities, with a liability of approximately $1.4M in dispute. Argent Minerals indicated within this January announcement that they remained of the view that the Registered Activities were indeed eligible R&D Activities, and that the company would exercise its right to have an independent internal review of the registrations undertaken by another state branch of AusIndustry.
Argent Minerals made a subsequent announcement to the ASX on 23 December 2019, advising that the company has received notice that the AusIndustry internal review has been completed, and has also found that all of the company’s Registered Activities for FY16 and FY17 were not eligible R&D Activities. Argent Minerals noted within the announcement that the company may choose to appeal this decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
In a separate announcement to the ASX by Moreton Resource Ltd in November 2019, the company announced that their R&D Tax dispute is back before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (following the widely publicised Federal Court decision), and scheduled to be heard on 12 February 2020.
These matters are reminders that R&D Claims must be compiled and assessed with care, and that claimants should consider guidance material published by AusIndustry and the ATO on R&D Tax Compliance.