In transition from the mining boom to an ideas boom, Turnbull released the Innovation Agenda in December 2015. As we previously mentioned, there was no indication of any immediate changes to the R&D Tax Incentive in the agenda. However, it was noted that the Australian government would be piloting a review of the R&D Tax Incentive to make it more available to the business sector.
At the present time, the review is currently proceeding and is expected to be reported to government in April 2016. The review will seek to pinpoint opportunities to improve the effectiveness of the programme and encourage additional R&D expenditure in Australia.
To assist with this review, An Issues Paper (PDF 611KB) has been established by a panel of professionals to support the evaluation process. 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 short, the Issues Paper explores the government programme and current performance, as well as policy design issues and policy rationale.
Aside from this review by the panel, now is the perfect opportunity for interested parties and individuals around Australia 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
It is important to note that industry professionals are unaware of when the timing of any changes to the R&D Tax Incentive will take place – as this is purely a task for government. As described above, the review is currently ongoing and is projected to reach the government in April. Nonetheless, AusGrant will aim to stay on top of any changes as they happen and update our clients as needed. In the meantime, however, companies are still encouraged to engage in R&D. As the incentive presently subsists, companies may be eligible for generous tax benefits. Contact us today to find out more about the incentive and if you qualify.