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For the 2021 and future income years, if you have, or expect to have, more than $2 million of eligible R&D expenditure per income year, you have some options to choose between. You can either elect to be a significant performer and submit a criteria and methodology (CAM) application for:

  • all your R&D activities
  • some of your R&D activities, applying for general approval for your other projects not covered by the CAM application
  • none of your R&D activities, instead, applying for general approval for all your R&D activities.

Before applying for general approval or electing to be a significant performer, you’ll need to register for the R&D tax incentive.

Register for the research and development tax incentive


To opt into the significant performer regime, you must notify us by the 7th day of the 2nd month after the end of your income year. You must provide an estimate of your eligible expenditure on R&D, which should exceed the $2 million minimum threshold. You do this when you submit your CAM application.

Applying for criteria and methodology approval for your R&D activities

Significant performers must seek criteria and methodologies (CAM) approval. This examines the processes that you used to meet R&D standards.

You’ll need to apply for general approval on any core and supporting R&D activities you do not include in your CAM application.

Criteria and methodologies approval for significant performers 

Getting R&D certificates for significant performers

If you become a significant performer, you are not required to seek general approval for your core and supporting activities. However, you must provide an R&D certificate from an approved R&D certifier. Again, for those activities not covered in your CAM application, you will need to apply for general approval for them.

The certificate must be supplied when you file your R&D supplementary return.

Research and development certificates for significant performers