On 10 February 2015, Tax Laws Amendment (Research and Development) Bill 2013 was passed by the Senate with Palmer United Party amendments.
The broad effect of the amendments is that the laws will apply retrospectively to 1 July 2014 (as opposed to 1 July 2013 as originally proposed), and that there will now be a reduced tax offset rate for companies with expenditure above $100 million. For expenditure above $100 million, companies will be able to claim a tax offset at the company tax rate.
On 12 February 2015, the Bill returned to the House of Representatives where the amendments were agreed upon.
The Bill now awaits Royal Assent.
In a media release issued on 10 February 2015, the Treasurer, Joe Hockey, said that fewer than 25 companies are expected to be affected by the new measure. The vast majority of companies claiming the research and development tax incentive will be unaffected.