R&D tax concession: It’s not over till it’s over

The story so far: Back in 2016 the League of Three Fs, Bill Ferris, Alan Finkel and John Fraser, reviewed the Research and Development tax concession and upset start-ups and their accountants by recommending reducing and more tightly-targeting it.

What happened next: Was nothing, followed by nothing as ministers came and went without annoying beneficiaries of the scheme.

Until the budget: Which announced cuts to the concession to save $2bn over the forward estimates.

Followed by a bill: With the understated and certainly not pitched to populists on the Senate crossbench title, Treasury Laws Amendment (making sure multinationals pay their fair share of tax in Australia and other measures), which covered the concession. This, in the ways of such things, was sent in October to a Senate’s economic legislation committee for scrutiny.

Where it was scrutinised: The committee took evidence and considered a stack of submissions from organisations which are undoubtedly committed to the national interest.

And is scrutinised still: The committee was supposed to report at the start of December, but now will not report until February.


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