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When a business expects to have more than $2 million of eligible R&D expenditure, they can apply to be recognised as a significant performer.

Significant performers do not need to seek approval for their core and supporting activities. Instead they seek approval of their criteria and processes for identifying eligible R&D activities and expenditure.

They also need to provide an R&D certificate along with their supplementary return. They get this R&D certificate from an approved R&D certifier, which will usually be an accounting firm.

How certification works

An approved R&D certifier will:

  • review supplementary returns
  • confirm if significant performers followed the correct processes when working out eligible R&D expenditure.

The certification process is still being developed and we will provide more details as soon as possible.

Firms or individuals

Accounting firms as a whole should apply to be approved R&D certifiers, rather than individuals within each firm being certifiers in their own right.

Licensed auditors

To be approved as an R&D certifier, a firm must declare that they include or employ at least 1 licensed auditor (as approved by the Financial Markets Authority).

Applying to be an approved R&D certifier

To become an approved R&D certifier, you’ll need to apply using the approved application form. You’ll need to:

  • list any licensed auditors you employ
  • list the names of any partners, directors, or principals that you authorise to provide R&D certificates
  • make a statutory declaration on the application form stating that you are competent in applying the appropriate legal and accounting standards that relate to R&D tax credits.

We’ll let you know if we approve your application. We'll also publish your approval on our website.

Your approved R&D certifier status takes effect from the date of your application.

You will not be approved if:

  • your approval would negatively affect the integrity of the tax system
  • your approval has been revoked in the last 2 years
  • you gave up your approval in the last 2 years because you expected it to be revoked.

Application form

The application form will be available shortly.