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How do I claim the R&D Tax Incentive?

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In this months contribution to Startup Daily, we talk about the R&D Tax Incentive with Scott Warnock from PwC. We have previously talked to Scott about eligibility for R&D tax incentives and how the incentive can benefit businesses around Australia.

We go through some of the key questions that businesses ask around the R&D tax incentive:

What is the R&D Tax Incentive opportunity?

The R&D Tax Incentive is the Australian Government’s key program to support R&D and innovation. It provides companies with up to 45 cents back for every eligible dollar, even in many cases where start-up companies are not yet paying tax.

Why should I lodge my application so soon after year end?

The benefits can provide much needed funding for startups. Most startups are pre-revenue and therefore eligible for a cash refund up to 45 cents for every eligible dollar. The sooner you lodge your application and the company income tax return, the sooner you receive the refund (and cash in the bank)!

What is the minimum amount I can claim?

The minimum expenditure to be eligible for an R&D Tax Incentive claim is $20,000. In PwC’s experience in working with a large number of startups, the base level of expenditure to ‘justify’ an R&D claim is approximately $50,000.

You can read the article in full here or get in touch with Scott Warnock from PwC here.

Is my startup eligible for the R&D Tax Incentive?

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In Emma’s monthly contribution to Shoestring, she writes about one of the key questions we get asked by startups:

Is my startup eligible for the R&D Tax Incentive?

To assist with understanding R&D Tax Incentives better, we interviewed Scott Warnock, a Director at PwC. Scott specialises in R&D Tax Incentives and and has worked with many startups around Australia assisting them in obtaining tax incentives and Government grants.

Without replicating the full interview here, we have included some of the main points that are useful for startups:

What is the R&D Tax Incentive opportunity?

Scott Warnock: The R&D Tax Incentive is the Australian Government’s key program to support R&D and innovation. It provides companies with up to 45 cents back for every eligible dollar, even in many cases where startup companies are not yet paying tax.

How does the claim process work?

Scott: It is a self-assessment program, which is different to most Government grants (these are typically competitive in nature). In short, companies can access the R&D Tax Incentive through a two-stage process that involves:

  • Registering: Register R&D activities with AusIndustry (on behalf of Innovation Australia) within 10 months after year end; and
  • Claiming: Claim the tax offset in the annual income tax return (which would include the ATO’s R&D Tax Incentive Schedule detailing the R&D expenditure incurred).

The deadline for 30 June 2013 year ends is quickly approaching! Companies must lodge an application with AusIndustry by 30 April 2014.

What types of costs can I claim?

Scott: A broad range of costs can potentially be claimed, including salaries, on-costs, contractors, rent, and other overheads. There are a number of areas such as legal costs (including patent costs) that need to be considered on a case by case basis – the eligibility of these costs tends to be very fact specific.

Want to find out more about R&D Tax Incentives? You can read the rest of the interview with Scott here at Shoestring.

If you don’t want to miss the boat to claim R&D tax incentives for 2013, get in touch with Scott Warnock at PwC or your friendly startup accountant at Nudge Accounting.

We Are E.S.T. 2012

Who WE Are

At Nudge, we do it all for your small business: bookkeeping, accounting and tax. we can also help you with tax advice, company setups, personal tax, monthly performance summaries and specialist advice for small business owners. All work is completed by Aussie Accountants so you’ll never have to worry about compliance again.

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With the uprising of technology and the plethora of competition in the majority of industries, business owners tend to seek help and assistance in managing and tailoring their business to suit the era’s needs and expectations. The process of accounting provides reports that bring key financial indicators together. Understanding financial concepts and gearing clients to financial success is what we exceed at here at Nudge Accounting.Our expertise lingers throughout the field of online accounting and engulfs all financial cases. With years of extensive experience and a dedication for our clients success, we endeavour to evolve our existing methodologies, in order to transform into Australia’s leading online financial firm.

OUR COMPANY Commitment

A successful marriage between bookkeeping and accounting will contribute to the long-term financial success of any business. Nudge Accounting takes pride with their online bookkeeping and online accounting services that encompass all aspects and sectors of finance to ensure our clients receive the utmost finest service. Commitment is an attribute we stand for as client satisfaction is always key to evolution.Our reliability is second to none, as we ensure our clients are well organised and pursuit their financial tasks with accuracy and precision. Nudge Accounting propelled their excellence and with their dynamic team of online accounting professionals transcended competition and have cemented themselves as the leading online bookkeepers in Australia.


Our software and technological client interface is meticulous and seldom do alternative online accounting companies acquire this quality of infrastructure. This is what portrays our excellence and gears Nudge Accounting towards success. We ensure client satisfaction, by going through all the details and explaining financial situations to our clients. Engaging the client is what makes us stand out!Online accounting software, combined with online accounting techniques is a much more effective procedure than filling out paperwork because half the work is already done for you! Nudge Accounting take pride in providing the utmost finest online accounting service across Australia, with a variety of small to medium businesses and accounting excellence, technology and Nudge go hand in hand, just like the glove fits the hand!


Nudge provide exceptional accounting service and support whilst remaining price competitive. All of our packages provide the same great features for your small business accounting needs, which includes:

  • Performance Management Reporting
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  • Annual Financial Statements
  • Financial Monthly Statements
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  • Monthly KPI's to Identify Improvement Areas


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