State of R&D Tax Policy Heading into Federal Election

May 16th, 2022

The federal election is due to be held Saturday, 21 May 2022.

Thankfully, after years of instability and uncertainty, it is not expected that the R&D Tax Incentive will be impacted by the upcoming election campaign (in the short term at least), and there have not been any R&D Tax specific announcements.

This is the case, as recent legislative amendments to the R&D Tax Incentive have only recently commenced after the October 2020 bi-partisan enactment, and it would be unlikely for further change to happen so soon.

Both major political parties have made government support for industry, science and local manufacturing capability a focus of their respective campaign:

  • The incumbent coalition government has announced:
    • a $2 billion Research Commercialisation Action Plan;
    • programs for supply chain resilience;
    • digital investment incentives;
    • a tech workforce round table.
  • The Labor party’s announcements relate to:
    • policies seeking to generate creation of 1.2 million tech-related jobs by 2030;
    • development of Australian manufacturing capability.

It is natural for both parties to have differing approaches to support for direct incentives to industry (such as discretionary grants).

It is hoped that whomever wins the election, the future government can ensure that stable infrastructure necessary to support ongoing and long-term Australian investment is in place for issues such as:

  • Passage into Australia of skilled talent and capital;
  • Broad-based R&D Tax Incentives;
  • Taxation of employee share options;
  • Measures to protect and incentivise intellectual property domiciling in Australia.

For more information about the R&D Tax Incentive and how it may apply to your business, click here.

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