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For companies wishing to claim the Research and Development (R&D) tax Incentive, the 30th April 2018 deadline is fast approaching.

For companies with an income year ending on 30 June the 2016-2017 financial year claim must be lodged with AusIndustry before 10 months after tax year end to claim. Registrations after the deadline will not be accepted.

To claim the R&D tax offset  you must:

  • register the eligible activities for each income year you want to claim the offset with AusIndustry
  • register within 10 months of the end of your company’s income year, and
  • before you lodge the company income tax return in which you are claiming the offset.

You must download a new registration form each year.

Deadline date:

30th April 2018  for FY17 R&D tax eligible expenses. 

If you need help with registering, contact Treadstone now so you don’t miss out!

Importance of Record Keeping

Why keep records?

When applying to register for the R&D Tax Incentive, you must keep records that demonstrate your activities meet the eligibility criteria for the programme as defined in the legislation.

If your registration is selected for a review by the department, you may be asked to provide the contemporaneous records (records prepared at the time the R&D activities were being conducted) you used to self-assess your eligibility.

Maintaining good records can reduce your compliance costs and risks in the event that your registration is selected for a review.

Making sure you keep good records, along with having effective business systems and processes in place, will also help you comply with and receive the maximum benefit from the R&D Tax Incentive.

What type of records to keep?

Records you need to keep will vary depending on the nature of your business and the R&D activities you are conducting. If a company has no contemporaneous evidence that an activity has been conducted and met all of the eligibility criteria, then that activity is not eligible for the R&D Tax Incentive.

Examples of evidence you may use to demonstrate your eligibility under the programme include:

  • design of experiments
  • project planning documents
  • project records and laboratory notebooks
  • records of trial runs
  • progress reports and minutes of project meetings
  • test protocols, test results, analysis of test results and conclusions
  • photographs and videos
  • samples, prototypes, scrap and other artefacts
  • contracts
  • records of resources allocated to the project (e.g. asset usage logs)
  • staff time sheets
  • tax invoices.


How do I register?

You can use the Smart Form and use use the  Register R&D Activities Application Notes (PDF; 643.06 KB) for help with completing your application.

Each time you apply, make sure you download a new version of the application form. You can pre-fill the application form with data from the previous year’s application. However, it’s important to note that the latest version of the application form may have new fields.

Each application form you download can only be submitted once. If you will be submitting applications for more than one R&D entity, you will need to download a new form for each entity.

Overseas Finding
If you are doing most of your R&D in Australia, but must do some of your R&D overseas because it can’t be done in Australia, you may be able to claim an offset for your overseas expenditure if you obtain an Overseas Finding.

An Overseas Finding is a finding by Innovation and Science Australia about whether the R&D activities you conduct outside Australia are eligible for expenditure claims.

An Overseas Finding application also automatically includes an Advance Finding application for the overseas activities, to determine if the activities are eligible activities for the R&D Tax Incentive. Overseas activities must have a significant scientific link to a core R&D activity conducted in Australia.

To get an Overseas Finding, you must submit an application before the end of the first income year in which you start the overseas R&D activities. Your application needs to include detailed information about:

  • the R&D activities you have conducted in Australia which relate to the overseas activities
  • the overseas R&D activities themselves.

Apply for an Overseas or Advance Finding

Use the  Advance/Overseas Finding application notes (PDF; 567.14 KB) for help with completing the form.

Advance Finding
If you are unsure whether your company’s R&D activities are eligible for the R&D Tax Incentive, you can request an ‘Advance Finding’ by the department.

You must submit an application for an Advance Finding before the end of the first income year in which the activities were conducted.

You can request Advance Findings for:

  • activities you conduct in the current income year, whether you start or complete them in that year
  • activities you propose to conduct in the subsequent two income years.

You will still need to submit an application to register your R&D activities after an Advance Finding. You do not need an Advance Finding in order to submit an application to register your activities.

Apply for an Advance or Overseas Finding

Use the  Advance/Overseas Finding application notes (PDF; 567.14 KB) for help with completing the form.

Want to get the best possible result?

Don’t wait till it’s too late.  Treadstone specialises in R&D tax incentive claims and has helped hundreds of businesses maximise their claims.  We have deep experience in writing R&D claims for:

  • Software development
  • Engineering processes
  • Food manufacturers
  • Engineering products.
  • Health technology
  • Agri-tech
  • Fin-tech
  • Biotech
  • Defence
  • Clean tec

Working with Treadstone means you get the maximum rebate with minimum risk and effort. We provide expert advice and take care of your application, allowing you to continue to focus on your essential business operations.

To ensure you have the best chance of getting your rebate contact us or call 03 9008 5937.

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