In 2015-16, the Government is investing approximately $9.7 billion in research and development (R&D). Notably, around $3.2 billion of this amount specifically funds the business sector R&D. In launching the National Innovation and Science Agenda last year, the Australian Government announced that they would be undertaking a review of the R&D Tax Incentive programme to make it better accessible to the business sector.
Accordingly, the review of the R&D Tax Incentive will identify opportunities to improve the effectiveness and integrity of the programme. This includes sharpening its focus on encouraging additional R&D expenditure and considering whether changes to the programme are necessary.
At present, the review is currently underway and it is expected to report to Government in April 2016. However, now is the perfect opportunity for interested parties to have their say on the R&D Tax Incentive. Additional input is due by close of business Monday, 29 February 2016, and should be sent to:
R&D Tax Incentive Review Secretariat
GPO Box 9839
CANBERRA ACT 2601
In the meantime, an Issues Paper (PDF 611KB) has been developed by the Panel to aid the review process and is available to download. The Panel comprises of Mr Bill Ferris AC (Chair of Innovation Australia), Dr Alan Finkel AO (Australia’s Chief Scientist) and Mr John Fraser (Secretary of The Treasury). In brief, the Issues Paper explores the government programme and current performance, as well as policy design issues and policy rationale.
However, you may be wondering if changes to the programme are made, when will they take effect from? The timing for implementing any changes to the R&D Tax Incentive arising from the review is a matter for government. As we mentioned above, the review is currently underway and is expected to reach the government in April. Nonetheless, Swanson Reed will aim to keep their clients updated on any changes to the program as they occur.
In the interim, as the R&D Tax Incentive currently stands you may eligible for generous tax benefits – whether you’re a start-up, small company or established business. Swanson Reed provides specialist tax expertise transversely to a broad range of industries and has assisted many clients attain tax benefits under the R&D regime. Contact one of our specialist R&D Tax consultants to find out more about the scheme or if you’re eligible.