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R&D tax credit goes live


31 March 2008

R&D tax credit goes live

The new 15 per cent research and development (R&D) tax credit for businesses takes effect from tomorrow, April 1.

The tax credit will give eligible businesses back 15 cents in every dollar they spend on R&D that meets specific criteria.

Programme Director Ron Grindle said comprehensive guidelines about the R&D tax credit are available on the Inland Revenue website. Businesses can consult the website to assess their eligibility, and find out what records they will need to keep.

The detailed statement required to support an R&D tax credit claim, and information about how to complete it, will be on the website in time for businesses to file their first claims from 1 April 2009.

“What’s different about this process is that, for the first time, businesses are required by law to file the statement electronically,’’ said Mr Grindle. “Anyone who needs to file before 1 April 2009 should contact us, as we will have a manual process in place for them.”

To be eligible, the R&D must meet key tests relating to the business itself, the activity and the amount spent on R&D. The business must operate in New Zealand, and R&D activities must be related to business activities. The business must also control the R&D, bear the financial risk, and own the results. It generally must also spend $20,000 or more.

However, businesses that spend less than $20,000 will still be able to claim the tax credit if they use a research provider listed on the Inland Revenue website.

Mr Grindle said that these listed research providers must be able to undertake R&D for other, non-associated businesses, have facilities in New Zealand, charge commercial rates and keep good supporting records.

In December 2007, Inland Revenue released for public consultation draft guidelines for businesses wanting to apply for the tax credit. “Feedback from that process has been incorporated into the website, and we will continue to make improvements,’’ said Mr Grindle.

Inland Revenue had received very useful feedback about the tax credit from businesses and the R&D sector, he said. “We will continue the dialogue.’’

For more information about the tax credit, customers are invited to call Inland Revenue or go to


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