Call to end retrospective R&D audits for business

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 12-Dec-19

Small Business & Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has recommended changes to the administration of R&D tax incentives following a review of the scheme. Amongst other things, she has proposed that the federal government cease requiring recipients to undergo retrospective audits, often some years after they received the tax incentive. Carnell notes that the Australian Taxation Office has frequently required small businesses to repay the full amount of the tax incentive after an audit, including harsh financial penalties.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN SMALL BUSINESS AND FAMILY ENTERPRISE OMBUDSMAN, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE, AIRTASKER PTY LTD

Tax fight left rare earths miner on the brink

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 1-Jul-19

Northern Minerals has spent $210m to date on its Browns Range rare earths project in Western Australia’s East Kimberley region. MD George Bauk says a dispute with the Australian Tax Office over a $10.8m research and development tax rebate nearly saw the company collapse in early 2019. The ATO also demanded that Northern Minerals repay $13.4m worth of previous R&D rebates. Bauk maintains that the Browns Range processing plant is an R&D site, as the technology it uses is still being developed and improved.

CORPORATES
NORTHERN MINERALS LIMITED – ASX NTU, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, LYNAS CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX LYC, WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES

Labor flags R&D reprieve on clawbacks

Original article by Paul Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 & 20 : 16-Apr-19

Shadow innovation minister Kim Carr says Labor will look at how to lift expenditure on research and development to three per cent of GDP by 2030 if it wins the federal election. He notes that R&D expenditure is currently at 1.8 per cent of GDP, compared with 2.1 per cent in 2013. Carr says Labor will seek to have start-ups exempted from the R&D tax incentive clawbacks that impacted the technology sector in late 2018, while he claims that over 1,000 scientists have lost their jobs under the current government.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, DULUXGROUP LIMITED – ASX DLX, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Stunning lost opportunity on innovation

Original article by Ben Potter
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 4-Apr-19

Former Innovation Science Australia chairman Bill Ferris has criticised the April 2019 Budget’s lack of policy announcements regarding innovation. He describes it as a missed opportunity to address declining investment in innovation by both government and business. Ferris argues that innovation is a key driver of productivity. The federal government will also reduce funding for the R&D tax incentive program by a further $1.35bn over four years. Krish Patel of Element 8 Group warns that government policy is forcing business start-ups to outsource R&D work offshore.

CORPORATES
INNOVATION SCIENCE AUSTRALIA, ELEMENT 8 GROUP, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, CSIRO, GEOSCIENCE AUSTRALIA

Start-ups reveal their federal budget wish-lists

Original article by Liz Main
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 2-Apr-19

Clarification concerning research and development tax incentives is one of the biggest points of interest for technology start-ups with regard to the federal government’s April 2019 Budget. Des Hang, the CEO and co-founder of vehicle subscription service Carbar, says it is too easy for larger companies to be able to claim tax breaks under the R&D incentive scheme. Investment in better education programs is something else that the technology sector wants to see, along with immigration reform.

CORPORATES
CARBAR, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, ATLASSIAN CORPORATION PLC, 99DESIGNS PTY LTD, FINTECH AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Extra tax perks to boost R&D

Original article by Michael Bailey, Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 29-Sep-16

The Federal Government wants to encourage large companies to be more technologically innovative. The existing research and development scheme was reviewed by Innovation Australia chairman Bill Ferris, chief scientist Alan Finkel and Treasury Secretary John Fraser, who recommended doubling the value of tax breaks for large companies to a maximum of $A17 million a year. They also proposed an annual cap of $A2 million on cash claims by smaller companies.

CORPORATES
INNOVATION AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE CHIEF SCIENTIST, DULUXGROUP LIMITED – ASX DLX, CSIRO