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Table 2.2 New registrants as at 30 June 2010a
a This table uses Innovation Australia registration data and indicates the declared intention of registrants to claim under each element. Actual benefits will vary depending on individual circumstances.
* Total registrants for the R&D Tax Offset is (A+D+E+G).
** Total registrants for the 175% Premium is (B+D+F+G).
*** Total registrants for the International Premium is (C+E+F+G).
b A ‘new registrant’ is a company registered for the R&D Tax Concession for the first time in a given Income year. A ‘new registrant’ may be a member of a company group, other members of which may have registered for and claimed the R&D Tax Concession.
Table 2.2 indicates the number of new registrants in the R&D Tax Concession in the 2008-09 income year is consistent with the previous year. However, the reported expenditure has increased 23 per cent compared with the previous year.
TAKE UP OF THE R&D TAX OFFSET AND 175 PER CENT PREMIUM ELEMENTS
The R&D Tax Offset and the 175 per cent Premium have been in operation since the 2001 02 income year.
For the most recent complete income year (2007-08), as at 30 June 2010, a total of 3,309 companies indicated their intention to claim the R&D Tax Offset (including 571 companies intending to claim both the R&D Tax Offset and the 175 per cent Premium). This represents 42 per cent of total registrants, and approximately eight per cent of total R&D reported expenditure, which is comparable with the equivalent figures for the 2006-07 income year (41 per cent of registrants and seven per cent of R&D expenditure).
For the 175 per cent Premium, 1,505 companies indicated an intention to claim this element for the 2007-08 income year (including 571 companies intending to claim both the R&D Offset and the 175 per cent Premium). This corresponds to 26 per cent of total registrants and 62 per cent of total R&D expenditure, which represents a minor increase on the equivalent figures for the previous income year (22 per cent of registrants and 59 per cent of reported R&D expenditure).
REGISTERED RESEARCH AGENCIES
The Government’s commitment to encouraging R&D is complemented by facilitating access by small and medium sized companies to R&D expertise through the services provided by Registered Research Agencies (RRA).
RRA registration allows companies which would be unable to claim the tax concession for R&D, if their R&D expenditure has not reached the minimum threshold ($20,000), to benefit from the concession by contracting their R&D work to an organisation with RRA status. This enables companies to access expertise in Australia’s public and private sector R&D organisations, reducing unnecessary duplication of R&D facilities and improving the overall effectiveness of Australia’s R&D effort.
As at 30 June 2010, 172 organisations were registered as RRAs.
The joint registration (syndication) component of the R&D Tax Concession (section 39P of the IR&D Act) was introduced on 20 November 1987. Registration of new syndicates was terminated on 23 July 1996. Of the original 245 registered syndicates, two remain to be formally wound up.
GOVERNANCE OF THE R&D TAX CONCESSION PROGRAM
The R&D Tax Concession is administered jointly by Innovation Australia, through AusIndustry, and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
The Tax Concession Committee (TCC) administers the R&D Tax Concession under delegation from Innovation Australia.
The role of the TCC is outlined in Section 3 - Corporate Governance.
LIAISON WITH THE AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE
AusIndustry and the ATO continued to maintain a high level of formal and informal interaction throughout the year. Strategies to improve the joint administration of the R&D Tax Concession and safeguard its integrity continued to be developed through day to day contact between the two agencies, and through formal liaison meetings.
Issues considered at these meetings included:
PROGRAM MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT
Innovation Australia actively monitors the R&D Tax Concession on a risk management basis. In the last quarter of 2009-10 AusIndustry implemented a revised Compliance Management Framework for the R&D Tax Concession.
All annual registrations are assessed against the program’s risk selection framework, which is aimed at identifying eligibility risks as early as possible.
Compliance findings continue to show that the majority of companies represent a low risk in respect to their R&D eligibility. However, the risk assessment activities may lead to formal determinations of R&D eligibility, which may in turn result in denial of the tax concession deductions for R&D.
Through AusIndustry’s national customer service network a range of program advice activities, educational seminars and risk assessment monitoring continues to be provided.
CUSTOMER FEEDBACK AND LIAISON
The R&D Tax Concession Administration Consultative Group was established during 2001 02 to facilitate direct interaction between R&D Tax Concession customers and practitioners and AusIndustry and the ATO as joint managers of the program.
The Consultative Group meets in various State capitals during the year and is chaired by Innovation Australia’s Tax Concession Committee Chair, who reports to the TCC and Innovation Australia. The Group’s major role is to provide customer feedback and advice on operational and administrative issues, such as registration of R&D activities and introduction of new forms and guidelines, in order to improve the delivery of the R&D Tax Concession.
Meetings of the Consultative Group were held in Sydney and Melbourne in March 2010 and the TCC Chair presided over those meetings.
Topics discussed at these meetings included:
R&D Tax Concession
TAX CONCESSION INVESTED IN GREEN TECHNOLOGY
In the past year alone, EP&T Global has saved its customers more than $14 million in electricity, gas and water costs, according to the company’s founder and CEO Keith Gunaratne.
“At the same time, we also reduced our customers’ greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80,000 tonnes and saved 650 million litres of water,” Keith said.
EP&T Global is an energy conservation and environmental solutions leader. It has developed unique technologies and services that building and shopping centre owners can use to dynamically monitor and report on the electricity, gas and water they consume, and the amount of waste they create.
According to Keith, it is the way that this information is used that allows owners to operate their buildings more efficiently.
“By monitoring a building intelligently with accurate technology, property owners can identify wastage and therefore identify opportunities to save money.”
Keith said the Australian Government’s R&D Tax Concession had helped the company grow since it opened for business in 1993.
“When we started out it was just two people, and receiving the concession helped us employ a third and then a fourth person.”
The company, based in Sydney, now employs 40 engineers and counts companies in the United Kingdom and Dubai among its customers.
“Every dollar in the concession is very valuable when you’re small,” Keith said. “The concession is fantastic; it’s practical and easy to manage. There’s hardly any red tape and that means it’s not costly to administer.”
Technologies developed by EP&T with the help of the R&D Tax Concession have assisted two Australian commercial property companies achieve the world’s no. 1 position in the Dow Jones Sustainability World index in 2007 & 2009.
RESEARCH HELPS TRANSFORM THE “HUMBLE” CONCRETE BLOCK
Building without mortar is a new concept in building developed by Gold Coast company Formblock.
“Our blocks use an interlocking plastic bridge to lock them in place instead of mortar,” said Formblock’s Managing Director George Ryder.
“Our new system means block-layers can throw away their traditional tools – their trowel, cement mixer and hose and increase their turnover, profit and productivity.
“It’s been 60 years and the humble concrete block hasn’t changed.”
George said the system started as a new way to build masonry walls, but was fast becoming the answer to building large-scale commercial projects, mass housing, remote housing and also rebuilding after disasters.
George said that building in remote areas was one of the most exciting uses of his technology.
“If a tsunami or an earthquake hits, we will be able to use local materials and transform them into buildings.”
George said his results showed Formblock was cutting construction costs and times by more than 20 per cent.
“I doubt that we would have done this without the R&D Tax Concession. I don’t think we would have dedicated the resources.”
George said he had spent the last 20 years “researching and perfecting” the blocks.
“It’s been a gradual process – I have more than 50 patents to my name and with the Australian Government’s continued support, we have several new products that we will be able to design and commercialise.”
RESEARCH STEERS AGRICULTURAL INNOVATOR TO SUCCESS
With a heavy focus on research and development, GPS-Ag has developed a range of products for the farming industry. They include automatic steer systems for farm vehicles, to systems which talk to any implements attached, and devices which allow for perfect planting.
As with many new companies, the first few years at GPS-Ag meant a lean operation, starting with only five staff. Ten years on and the systems have been adopted by farmers in Australia and around the world resulting in an increase in staff to 54, with 26 staff dedicated to field work.
Being eligible for the R&D Tax Concession means the company can continue to come up with “revolutionary ways to solve problems”.
According to GPS-Ag’s sales and marketing manager Adam Hutton, receiving the tax concession means the company can keep reviewing modern farming practices and develop innovations.
“This gives us an advantage over competitors,” Adam said.
One of the more recent developments is GPS-Ag’s weed identification system, WEEDit.
WEEDit can travel at speeds of up to 25km/h and targets the chemical directly onto the weed instead of the entire field.
Adam said some customers were reporting that they were saving up to 90 per cent in chemicals.
“The efficiencies that our products bring generally pay for the system within three to four years.”
Автор благодарит Victor A. Hill, руководителя английской фирмы International Management Development, London и L. P. Todd, руководителя...