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About the research and development (R&D) tax incentive

The R&D tax incentive operates as a tax credit, incentivising businesses and individuals who perform R&D activities.

Key features include:

  • 15% tax credit available for eligible R&D
  • minimum eligible R&D expenditure of $50,000 a year
  • maximum eligible R&D expenditure of $120 million a year
  • definition of R&D to span more sectors.

The purpose of the R&D tax incentive is to seek to solve scientific or technological uncertainty(ies).

Steps to claim the research and development (R&D) tax incentive credit

To be eligible for the R&D tax incentive credit, you must apply and get approval for your R&D activities. You will then be eligible to claim the credit.

  1. Check your eligibility to register for the research and development tax incentive.
  2.             Eligibility for the research and development tax incentive

  3. Once you have determined you are eligible, register for the research and development tax incentive.
  4.            Register for the research and development tax incentive

  5. Submit a general approval application, OR submit a criteria and methodologies approval application by the relevant due date.
  6.            Applying for general approval on your R&D activities
               Guidance for submitting your criteria and methodologies application 

  7. Once the general approval or criteria and methodologies approval application have been approved, submit a R&D supplementary return by the relevant due date.
  8.            Claim research and development tax credits 

Research and development (R&D) tax incentive due dates  

To help customers manage the impacts of COVID-19, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue has extended the due dates for some of the application years. Find out more about the due dates here: 

Research & development tax incentive due dates 

Last updated: 25 Jun 2021
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