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In joint media release No 2013/027, issued 17 February 2013, the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, and the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, announced changes to tax incentives for research and development (R&D).

Under the changes, very large businesses with annual Australian turnovers of $20 billion or more will no longer be eligible for the R&D Tax Incentive but will be eligible to claim their R&D expenditure under general tax law provisions, for example, as deductions at the corporate tax rate for business expenditure.

The change will add a third tier to the eligibility requirements for the program and targets the program to SMEs.  It will apply to income years starting on or after 1 July 2013.

Companies with a turnover of less than $20 million doing eligible R&D can receive an uncapped fully refundable offset if they are in tax loss and, from 2014, eligible companies will be able to receive refunds as quarterly credits - improving cash flow and helping them conduct more R&D.


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