Swanson Reed is Australia’s largest R&D tax advisory firm, processing R&D claims for over 600 companies every year.
Industry Specific Issues
R&D Intensity Requirement May Unfairly Penalise Certain Industries
Sixty million people are fed by Australian farming exports. With an ever-increasing global population, innovation in agriculture is essential to a sustainable future. However, the changes to the R&D tax incentive announced in the 2018 Federal Budget may be disadvantageous for industries like agribusiness. Up to 12,000 Australian companies could be affected by the R&D intensity change, which proposes that companies spend at least one percent of total business expenditure on R&D to qualify for the non-refundable tax offset.
The R&D intensity requirement will unfairly penalise industries who, by nature, do not spend as much money on research as high-intensity R&D industries like biotech and software. Agribusiness is a seasonal industry with very long-term projects. Increasing investment in long-term projects will have the best outcomes for improving efficiency and productivity. Yet farming and manufacturing businesses are already rethinking their plans to increase R&D spend, as they worry they will not meet the eligibility criteria.
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