Time expires on R&D Tax cut but concerns remain

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Time has effectively expired on the Government's legislation that would cut claims under the R&D Tax Incentive but the proposal remains on the table with less than two weeks until the Budget.

The Government is currently reviewing the R&D Tax Incentive programme, having already imposed an expenditure claim threshold of $100 million.

It is also attempting to cut claims by 1.5 per cent but the legislation has not navigated the parliamentary approval process and the Government has run out of time before the 2 July double dissolution election, which will be officially called in the week of 8 May.

The Turnbull Government is currently reviewing the R&D Tax Incentive. The review was announced in December last year as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda, although it was already part of a wider review of the tax system by Treasury.

The Review is now being conducted by Mr Bill Ferris AC, Chair, Innovation & Science Australia, Dr Alan Finkel AO FTSE, Chief Scientist of Australia and Mr John Fraser, Secretary to the Treasury.

There is significant concern across the sector over the continued tinkering with a programme widely recognised as one of, if not the most important policy programme for the biotechnology sector.

The Ferris Review is working off tight timelines, with a truncated stakeholder submission process, leading to some concern an outcome could be included in the 3 May Budget and then get caught up or lost in the election campaign.