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Questions and answers: Research and development (R&D) loss tax credit

1. What if my business isn't set up as a company? Can I apply?

If your business isn't set up as a company, you won't be eligible for an R&D loss tax credit.

2. Can my tax agent or accountant complete the application process for me?


3. What's my income tax filing due date?

Your income tax filing due date depends on your situation.

Find out more about income tax filing due dates for businesses

4. Do I have to register my interest every year that I want to apply?

You only need to register your interest once.

We ask you to register your interest (if your company meets initial requirements) because this enables us to:

  • set up your Investment Management System (IMS) account and/or
  • give you access to two R&D loss tax credit forms in IMS.

5. How do I get access to the Investment Management System to complete my application?

We'll provide the Investment Management System (IMS) access you need to complete your application once:

  • you register your interest, and
  • we've looked at the information you've provided and confirmed that your company meets initial requirements.

If you don't have an IMS account: We'll create a new account and email you with the details you need to log on the first time. We'll ask you to update your IMS password within 72 hours of receiving this email to complete your account set up - so please be sure to keep an eye out for it.

If you already have access to IMS: We'll add the two forms you need to complete steps 4 and 5 of the application process to your IMS account. We'll email you when this is sorted.

IMS is a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) system. This means that these emails may come from an MBIE email address on our behalf.

6. I need help using the Investment Management System (IMS). What should I do?

Reference sheets and guides for help using the IMS will be available shortly.

7. Is my Investment Management System (IMS) account the same as my myIR Secure Online Services account?

Your IMS account is separate from the myIR Secure Online Services account you may use to manage your tax.

8. Where can I find more details about the company and R&D eligibility criteria?

You can find out more about requirements in our R&D loss tax credit section.

9. If I 'cash out' my loses now under the R&D loss tax credit scheme, can I still carry forward these losses and deduct them from future income?

Any losses you 'cash out' cannot be carried forward and deducted from your income when you complete your tax return.

Any losses that haven't been cashed out can be carried forward and deducted from your income tax, once your company is earning income.

10. Can I carry forward any losses that I don't or can't 'cash out'?


11. Do I have to pay this 'cash out' back?

You'll 'pay back' cashed out losses by paying the right amount of tax on your company income in future. This is because you won't be able to claim a deduction for the losses you cashed out.

12. What happens if I get cash for my losses and my business fails and I don't earn enough income to pay back the 'cash out' by paying my company income tax?

If your company goes into liquidation, you would pay back any cashed out losses that you hadn't already repaid through paying income tax.

Find out more about liquidation

13. Are there any rules around how I spend losses I 'cash out'?

There are no rules around how you spend cashed out losses.

14. Can I apply for a 'cash out' on losses from past tax years?

You can apply to 'cash out' R&D losses from the 2015/16 tax year.

You must apply before your income tax filing due date each year.

R&D losses cannot be cashed out for any tax years before 2015/16.

15. Where can I find more detailed information?

You can find more information in our R&D loss tax credits section.