VDRZ and Innovation Australia [2017] AATA 123

May 25th, 2017

Introduction

Tribunal: Justice D Kerr, President
Date: 27 January 2017
Place: Sydney

The proceeding involved a dispute regarding VDRZ’s entitlement to research and development tax concessions in accordance with s 39J of the Industry Research and Development Act 1986 (Cth) (the Act).

It was referred for conciliation pursuant to s 34A of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (ATT Act) on 21 September 2016.

Background

Conciliation was conducted by Senior Member Lazanas on 12 December 2016. An agreement was reached between the parties to dispose of all of the matters in dispute.

The parties requested the Tribunal to make orders by consent to give effect to their agreement. The Tribunal could make a decision in accordance with the terms of the agreement reached, without holding a hearing.

The Orders were within the Tribunal’s power under s 43(1)(c)(ii) of the AAT Act. By Order 1 the Tribunal sets aside the Decision and remits the matter for reconsideration. By Order 2, the Tribunal exercises its discretion to make a direction.

On 6 January 2010, under s 39L of the IR&D Act, the Commissioner made a request to Innovation Australia to issue a certificate stating whether particular activities being carried out by VDRZ were research and development activities. As acknowledged in Order 2, the Commissioner proposed to withdraw the request, and therefore Innovation Australia no longer had a duty to issue a certificate.

Procedural requirements of s 34D were complied with. The documentation was lodged with the Tribunal and 7 days passed without notice of withdrawal.

Decision

The agreement was reached after detailed evidence from each party was filed, as well as detailed statements of facts issues and contentions. Assisted by the conciliation directed by the Tribunal, an agreement was achieved.

Resolution of the matter highlighted the value of provisions of the AAT Act that authorise the Tribunal to refer a review to conciliation.

Tribunal satisfied with the findings and approved terms of the proposed decision without the requirement of a hearing pursuant to s 34D of the AAT Act.

Decision resolved all matters in dispute.

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