28 / 07 / 10
Posted By: R&D SmartTax

R&D Plans are a legal requirement for R&D Tax Claims made for either the R&D Tax Concession or R&D Tax Offset programs in Australia. They are not required to be lodged before claiming but they are required to be on hand in the event of a review or audit. From a company’s point of view they make an excellent reference point to document eligibility of the R&D project(s) against the eligibility criteria. Legal criteria are set out in the R&D Plan Guidelines made available on the AusIndustry website (www.ausindustry.gov.au).

Five tips to making sure your R&D Plans are prepared correctly are:

1. The R&D Plan must be authorised prior to the commencement of major activities in your R&D project

2. R&D Plans are best prepared by the main technical person responsible for the R&D project. This is because much of the plan discusses the technical details of the project.

3. Back up assertions made in your R&D Plan with other documents including literature, patent or internet searches.

4. Be detailed and thorough with information. The R&D Plan is your main document to support eligibility of your R&D project and will be reviewed by AusIndustry in the event of a review or audit. Give AusIndustry plenty of reasons to support the eligibility of your project.

5. If you have several smaller projects which have one common technical objective, then use one R&D Plan to cover all the projects, describing the details of the smaller activities under the Technical Objectives, Innovation and High Levels of Technical Risk sections.

R&D SmartTax has a template for the R&D Plan available on its website www.smarttax.com.au. Please also contact us at any time if you need assistance with preparing or updating your R&D Plan.

About R&DSmartTax

R&D SmartTax tools were born out of a desire to help the many smart small Australian companies access the R&D Tax Break benefits without the need for hours spent reading tax literature or expensive consultant fees. The R&D Eligibility Wizard is designed to be low cost, easy to use and available for all Australian industries.


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A. Blauensteiner
Australian Institute of Commercialisation

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