A new platform to modernise the delivery of the research and development tax incentive will be launched to coincide with the introduction of a range of reforms to the popular scheme.
The registration form and online portal for companies accessing the research and development tax incentive (RDTI), built by large consultancy Deloitte, will go live in the second half of the year, with a number of changes to the scheme coming into effect from July.
In July last year Deloitte was awarded a $1.1 million contract over six months for “services to support research and development tax incentive ICT reform projects” from the industry department.
This work involved program management, change management, data migration and business support services to the new RDTI portal, with the work finishing at the end of last year.
The platform stems from the 2018-19 budget which included a number of reforms to the RDTI, most of which have since been abandoned by the Coalition. That budget included extra funding for the industry department for RDTI program integrity and administration.
The new RDTI platform will aim to modernise the process of accessing the program for Australian companies, improving the tech behind it and the customer-facing forms.
It will allow companies to manage registrations for the RDTI and advance and overseas finding applications. The platform will also include the government’s digital identity offering myGovID, and a more up-to-date process.
Through the portal, companies will also be able to submit requests for extensions of time and will be able to withdraw or vary their applications.
The platform will display the status of applications for the RDTI in real time, and indicate when deadlines for submissions are upcoming.
Through the one-stop portal, the department is aiming to improve the user experience of accessing the RDTI, which is currently done through a form on business.gov.au.
The platform will be launched in the second half of the year.
Late last year the Coalition passed its “enhancements” to the RDTi through Parliament, after backing away from its plan to cut $1.8 billion through the scheme.
The changes, coming into effect in July, will see companies with annual turnover under $20 million receiving a refundable tax offset for R&D set at 18.5 percentage points above the claimant’s company tax rate.
Companies with higher annual turnover will have their offset determined by a new intensity measure, calculated by dividing the level of R&D conducted by a company by its total expenses.
Companies with an intensity measure of 0-2 per cent will receive an offset of 8.5 percent above its company tax rate, while a higher score will deliver a 16.5 percent offset.
The expenditure threshold will also be increased from $100 million to $150 million from the next financial year, with a number of administrative changes to also be introduced to the scheme.
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