R&D Tax Incentive: draft refreshed Guide to Interpretation

Closed 25 Sep 2020

Opened 25 Aug 2020


Our department is committed to supporting Australian businesses to access the R&D Tax Incentive each year to allow businesses to claim a tax offset for the research and development they undertake. We provide education and guidance to business to help them assess whether they are eligible for the program.

To improve the customer experience, we have considered the Guide to Interpretation, the principal guidance product for the program, against previous user feedback and drafted a refreshed version.

The scope of the refreshed Guide to Interpretation has not changed, the language and style of the Guide has been refreshed so it is clearer and users are able to understand the eligibility requirements of the program. The Guide aligns with recent Federal Court and Administrative Appeals Tribunal decisions.

Read the refreshed Guide to Interpretation [2.3MB PDF] [365KB DOCX], and provide your feedback through our survey link below.

Why we are consulting

Our department is committed to two-way engagement and open dialogue with business to ensure that we continue to offer up-to-date, clear and easy-to-understand guidance.

We would like to understand from businesses that currently or are considering accessing the R&D Tax Incentive program:

  • whether the refreshed Guide is easy to read and understand
  • if there is any further guidance we can provide to business to help them assess whether they are eligible
  • if and when businesses will use the refreshed Guide

We will adopt feedback within the refreshed Guide that aids business understanding.

Our department is not seeking feedback in relation to any potential legislative reform relating to the program at this time.

What happens next

We will review the feedback received, and where appropriate incorporate this into the final version of the refreshed Guide to Interpretation, which will be made available on business.gov.au.


  • Former AusIndustry R&D Tax Incentive officers now working as tax consultants
  • R&D Tax Incentive programme registrants
  • Individuals
  • Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
  • Large business
  • Industry association
  • Peak body
  • Research organisation
  • R&D Tax Incentive


  • R&D Tax Incentive programme
  • Business research and development
  • Innovation
  • R&D Tax Incentive