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Criteria and methodologies (CAM) approval is mandatory for significant performers. It examines the processes that you used to meet R&D standards. Applying for CAM approval is free. Keep in mind there will be a cost for getting research and development certificates.

Benefits of criteria and methodologies approval

CAM approval is not binding on the Commissioner, but it allows you to be more confident that you’re making the correct decisions about R&D eligibility. If you follow the approved CAM procedures, you’ll correctly determine the eligibility of activities and expenditure. It also intends to do the following. 

  • CAM approval makes sure businesses engage with officials regarding their R&D tax credit claims earlier in the claims process. This should reduce the need for further scrutiny and minimise the likelihood of claims being reassessed and penalties and interest later being imposed.

Preparation and timeline for CAM approval and R&D certificates

Before making a CAM application, you’ll need to register for the R&D tax incentive.

Enrol for the research and development tax incentive


Here are some examples of timelines for claiming R&D tax credits according to your situation. If you have a non-standard balance date, adjust your dates accordingly. We do not accept late applications in any of the timelines.

Balance dates


Example - standard balance date with a tax agent and an extension

Date Action
7 May 2021 Due date for your application for CAM approval.

We will review your application before you're required to file your R&D supplementary return.
31 March 2022 Your income tax return for the tax year ending 31 March 2021 is due.
30 April 2022 You must file your R&D supplementary return by this date. Remember that you must attach an R&D certificate from an approved R&D certifier.

Example - standard balance date without a tax agent or extension

Date Action
7 May 2021 Due date for submitting your application for CAM approval.
Due to the narrow timeframe, it’s good practice to submit your application earlier than 7 May if you have the information ready.
7 July 2021 Your income tax return for the tax year ending 31 March 2021 is due.
6 August 2021 You must file your R&D supplementary return by this date. Remember that you must attach an R&D certificate from an approved R&D certifier.

Apply for criteria and methodologies approval

Once you've enrolled for the R&D tax incentive (RDTI) and we've processed it, you'll have access to the RDTI account in myIR. You can apply for CAM approval there. 

Instructions for submitting your criteria and methodologies application

Submit a criteria and methodologies application for your R&D activities