The Victorian State Reference Group is a forum hosted by AusIndustry and the ATO, that is attended by a select group of R&D Tax Advisors which provides an opportunity to discuss program administration. The Group meets 2-3 times per year, and this gives R&D Tax Advisors an opportunity to share their experiences and discuss operational matters.
On 19 February our Head of R&D and Grants, Rachel van Ketwich, attended the forum on behalf of GrantReady. Some of the key issues/points that were discussed include:
New ATO guidance material
The ATO is restructuring existing guidance material on its website to make it easier to find information about the R&D Tax Incentive program. They will also be releasing new guidance materials in 2020 that will include guidance around the type and level of documentation required to substantiate an R&D Tax Incentive claim. We will provide an update and analysis of the new guidance when this is released.
AusIndustry Integrity Framework
In November 2019 AusIndustry released a new integrity framework to provide greater transparency around the registration and assessment process. As part of this framework, AusIndustry will be providing more feedback and guidance to applicants at the pre-registration stage of the process.
AusIndustry registration portal is coming
AusIndustry is planning to release its new registration portal in late 2020. The portal will replace the smart form that is currently being used to register R&D activities with AusIndustry. We will work with AusIndustry and our clients to ensure the transition to the new portal is smooth one.
Both the ATO and AusIndustry discussed their position on the eligibility of expenditure related to activity that takes place outside of Australia. Whilst the ATO will, on a case by case basis, consider some incidental overseas expenses without an overseas advanced finding, both the ATO and AusIndustry reiterated that for certainty around eligibility claimants should seek a finding.
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss this further.