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Assisting businesses with eligibility for Research & Development Tax Incentive

21 February 2019

New guidelines published today will provide Australian businesses with more confidence in claiming support for software activities under the Research and Development Tax Incentive (R&DTI).

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews says the Software Guidance will provide the technology sector with greater clarity on the eligibility of software activities under the R&DTI, and assist companies in making decisions.

“The R&DTI is a vital part of the Liberal National Government’s plan to increase investment, and part of our commitment to fostering the innovation ecosystem,” Minister Andrews said.

“We need to ensure this investment is supporting research and development that has spillover effects for additional Australian jobs and economic growth.

“The majority of software businesses are trying to do the right thing, but some are claiming the incentive incorrectly.”

“The Guidance does not change the eligibility of software under the R&DTI, but provides more clarity to companies around what are considered eligible software research and development activities under the program and what are not, helping them to self-assess their claims more effectively.”

The R&DTI is designed to encourage businesses to invest in research and development that they may not otherwise undertake but for an incentive on offer.

“We’re seeing a diverse range of industry sectors claiming for software activities, reflecting the increasing importance of software in modern business,” Minister Andrews said.

“The R&DTI is just one of the tools on offer to help businesses maximise their opportunities to innovate, grow and prosper in the technology sector.”

The guidance, developed with comprehensive industry consultation, is part of a broader program of user-focussed education products being rolled out by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science to improve clarity and support to businesses seeking to claim the R&DTI.

In the five years from mid-2013 to June 2018, the Coalition Government is expected to have provided over $14 billion in R&D Tax Incentive to companies to conduct R&D, including support for software activities.  

The guidance is available at www.business.gov.au/randd-software-development

For further information about the R&DTI visit www.business.gov.au/assistance/research-and-development-tax-incentive

If any company has questions on the R&DTI, they can call the business.gov.au Call Centre on 13 28 46.

Media Contact: Minister Andrews' Office 02 6277 7070