Software in the Target Zone

The software industry in Australia has been growing in size and strength. Software has now become the dominant industry sector claiming the R&D Tax Incentive in both the number of companies claiming as well as the amount of benefit received from the scheme. While this is a great milestone for the software industry in Australia, the rapid expansion has attracted the notice of the regulators who administer the R&D Tax Incentive.

The ATO in the past year has become more active in policing the R&D Tax Incentive Program. One area that they have identified as an area of concern is the number of ineligible claim applications from software companies. Based upon that they have released a taxpayer alert TA2017/5 to highlight this issue. The R&D Tax Incentive has a strict criteria as to what would constitute R&D and what would not.

The ATO and Ausindustry have found that most claimants failed to properly identify the core and supporting activities. In some cases, they were not specific enough and would lodge broad based claims. Companies have also been claiming business risk rather than technical risks, as well as claiming the use of off the shelf technologies.

At Innercode, we work hard to properly document R&D activities according to the legislation and guidance given by Ausindustry, unfortunately some other claimants have either been unaware of the requirements or have been poorly advised by their accountant or consultant. Software in R&D claims has always been an area of particular challenge, which is why we started Innercode to help the software community to access the R&D Tax Incentive. By specialising in software and high-tech companies as well as working collaboratively with Ausindustry and the ATO to maintain best practices for documenting R&D we want to give our clients the greatest confidence in being able to lodge their R&D Claims.

At this stage we believe that the companies who might fail the audit are those who lodged the claim themselves without assistance or used the assistance of a general accounting firm or an online platform that provides minimal assistance. If you know of anyone who may be affected, we may still be able to assist them to revise their application or prepare for a review or audit. You are most welcome to put them in touch with us. In addition, if you have any concerns about your own application, we would be happy to discuss them with you.

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Post Author: AdminInnerCode

119 Willoughby Road Crows Nest

NSW 2065

contact@innercode.com.au

(02) 8004 8951