Research and Development Tax Incentive

Encouraging Australian businesses to invest in research and development

The Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive is the government’s key mechanism to stimulate industry investment in R&D in Australia. 

R&D drives innovation that leads to productivity improvements and economic growth. 

The R&D Tax Incentive offsets some of the costs to encourage Australian industry to undertake additional R&D activities. For example, the offset helps to reduce the financial risks associated with industry R&D investment decisions, including:

  • uncertainty about whether the potential for longer term gains from developing new or improved products or services will be worth the cost of a company’s R&D 
  • that a company may not capture the full benefit of its R&D due to the 'spill over' of knowledge to competitors and the rest of the economy.

How the R&D Tax Incentive is administered

Industry Innovation and Science Australia (IISA) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)  jointly administer the R&D Tax Incentive. Our department assists IISA to register R&D activities, while the ATO manages the rules for eligible entities and expenditure. 

Each year IISA reports on the R&D Tax Incentive in their annual report.  

We report the R&D Tax Incentive’s budget impact (the refundable tax offset and the non-refundable tax offset) annually in the science, research and innovation budget tables.

R&D Tax Incentive reviews

Our department is committed to continually improving the performance of the program to ensure its success and longevity informed by recent reviews like:

Updated regulations and principles for the R&D Tax Incentive

We’ve made some minor changes to the administration of the scheme.

Board of Taxation review of the R&D Tax Incentive dual agency administration model

The review provides valuable insights into ways to enhance the administration of the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive.  

R&D Tax Incentive draft determination for clinical trials: have your say

We’d like your feedback on the R&D Tax Incentive’s draft determination for clinical trials. The determination will facilitate biotechnology R&D registration through existing…

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