National Innovation and Science Agenda
More than 16 months after the Government announced its revised scope for the review of the R&D Tax Incentive (3F report), as part of its National Innovation and Science Agenda, no changes to the R&D Tax Incentive were announced in the Budget.
New initiatives released in the Budget, as part of the agenda, include:
- $100 million of additional investment in the manufacturing sector, including a further $47.5 million for a new Advanced Manufacturing Growth Fund to support manufacturers in South Australia and Victoria
- Extension of the crowd-sourced equity funding (CSEF) to proprietary companies. The initiative will enable these companies to have an unlimited number of CSEF shareholders, while ensuring they are protected by higher governance and reporting obligations
- An enhanced regulatory sandbox offering Financial Technology (FinTech) companies the flexibility required to test and advance a wider range of products and services.
On the face of it, while no news is good news for claimants of the R&D Tax Incentive, this leaves continued uncertainty as to the eventual fate of the recommendations contained in the 3F report. The Government needs to clarify urgently what it intends to do with the review to provide investment certainty.