Observations from new online R&D Tax Incentive customer portal

June 4th, 2021

Over recent weeks AusIndustry launched their new, online R&D Tax Incentive customer portal which replaces the old PDF Smartform Lodgement system.

AusIndustry are mandating that all FY21 R&D Applications are lodged via this new online system, which commences accepting lodgements from Monday 5 July, 2021.

There are significant changes from the old system (both in the lodgement process and reporting declarations) and companies who are looking to lodge their FY21 applications soon after the end of the financial year should be taking steps now to understand the new requirements:

Key changes include the following:

  • An individual director of the R&D entity must have established a personal MyGovID Account, which they must then link to the R&D Entity using the government’s Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) online system. Furthermore, a link must then be established between the R&D Entity and the nominated R&D Tax Agent BEFORE the R&D Tax Agent can commence drafting of the form. We have noted intermittent outages on the components of the system which facilitates this authorisation process in recent weeks, and these outages may intensify closer to the Go Live date as more users attempt to establish profiles. It is recommended that companies take action now to set up the relevant infrastructure to allow lodgement;
  • Additional questions are presented in the application form, such as:
    • Relationships between Core and Supporting Activities;
    • Details of the process companies went through prior to conducting R&D activities to determine that the knowledge sought was new, and the outcome of the activities was unknown;
    • A breakdown of registered expenditure for each of the registered activities;
    • Details of whether supporting activities produce goods or services;
  • A description of what evidence the company has kept in respect of registered activity. We anticipate that in the event of a compliance review, companies may be requested by AusIndustry to provide samples of the evidence that was declared as existing in the R&D Application, hence companies must carefully review and file such evidence prior to making the declarations.

Guidance notes on the new requirements are also available on the AusIndustry website.


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