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The research and development (R&D) loss tax credit is a refund of R&D business losses. The credit can only be for:

  • eligible R&D business expenditure
  • up to 28% of your tax losses from R&D activity
  • companies who are a tax resident in New Zealand
  • dates on or after 1 April 2015.  

Generally, you carry tax losses forward to the next income year. When you get the R&D tax credit you do not carry R&D business losses forward to use against income in future years. We call this 'cashing out your R&D losses'.

The R&D loss tax credit is different from the research and development tax incentive.

The R&D loss tax credit must be repaid when your business either:

  • begins to make a profit
  • owes repayment tax following a loss recovery event.

You must repay cashed out R&D losses before you can claim imputation credits for income tax paid. 

Imputation for companies

Further information about R&D tax credits is available in our Tax Information Bulletin, Volume 28, Number 3, on pages 19-29.

Tax Information Bulletin

Last updated: 28 Apr 2021
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