New approach to R&D tax incentive : zombie policy no more (again)

The Treasurer has quietly introduced legislation to reform the research and development tax incentive policy

The reason Bill Ferris, Alan Finkel and John Fraser missed the coronation of Queen Elizabeth (I not II) was they were working on a review of the R&D tax incentive (CMM September 29 2016).

They proposed a bunch of stuff, including more tight-targeting of tax concessions – their proposals caused conniptions among R&D investors. When last heard of, legislation announced in the 2018 budget and based on the Review of the Three Fs had passed the House but a Senate committee concluded, the bill should not proceed until there is further consideration” CMM February 12). It lapsed at the election.

So, present treasurer Josh Frydenberg considered and is back with a new bill that updates the old one, introduced on Thursday, the last sitting day of the year. The Explanatory Memorandum explains it all, in Mariana Trench depth, but basically the bill delivers on the Three Fs intent to target R&D support. If passed, the new system’s regulatory cost to business will be $26m per annum and will save the tax payer $1.8bn over the forward estimates.

There are over 150 Three F stories in the CMM archive, with the legislation still to go the Senate, there will be more.


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