R&D Tax Incentive 2021 Year in Review

December 21st, 2021

The 2021 calendar year has again been busy for the R&D Tax Incentive. Key developments this year have included:

ANAO report:
A report from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), released in November, found that the R&D Tax Incentive programme’s dual administrators (being 1: The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and 2: The ATO) were largely effective in their administration of the programme.

The ANAO did, however, note that there were some issues around reporting arrangements, the joint approach to compliance and timeframes for Advance and Overseas Finding assessments, and made a number of recommendations on these points.

10 Year Anniversary:
The R&D Tax Incentive in its current form (superseding the previous R&D Tax Concession) was originally enacted in September 2011, applying for the FY12 period. During 2021, the 10 year anniversary of the programme was marked, and AusIndustry released media around a number of important milestones.

New Online Portal Launch:
Companies registering R&D activity for the FY21 financial year must do so under the same legislation in place as in prior years. However, from July 2021 onwards, all R&D Tax Incentive applications must be submitted to AusIndustry through a new, online portal.

Key changes in the new portal include:

  • Additional company identification details, including the requirement for an initial set up of the portal using MyGovID and RAM;
  • Additional disclosures about R&D activities and expenditure.

2022 also looks like it’s shaping up to be a busy year, with the following key developments:

Board of Taxation report:
In the May 2021 budget, the government announced that the Board of Taxation (BOT) would undertake a review to evaluate the dual-agency administration model for the R&D Tax Incentive. This review is underway and expected to report in the new year.

Amended rules to come into effect from July 2022:
From July 2022, companies will begin to lodge claims under the changes announced in October 2020. The changes relate to calculation of R&D Tax Offsets, and integrity provisions. It’s likely that the ATO will release new guidance surrounding the changes in coming months.

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and prosperous 2022.

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