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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

For the 2021-22 income year and later years, the last day to opt into the significant performer regime and for applying for criteria and methodologies approval will be 6 months before the end of your income year, which is 30 September for most businesses (with a 31 March balance date). Refer to page 89 of the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020–21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Act 2021.

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

Last updated: 28 Apr 2021
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