Govt unveils plans for new R&D tax credit

The Federal Government has released draft laws for a new R&D (research and development) Tax Credit aimed at cutting red tape and boosting the economy’s competitiveness.

Treasurer Wayne Swan and Minister for Innovation Senator Kim Carr said in statement on Friday that this will be the “biggest reform to business innovation policy in over a decade”.

“It is about boosting investment in research and development, supporting jobs and strengthening Australian companies as they continue to seize opportunities during the economic recovery”, they said.

Under the new scheme, companies can claim a tax offset of at least 40 percent of their expenditure on R&D activities, rising to 45 percent for companies with a turnover of less than $20 million.

It will also allow small start-up firms to get an immediate contribution towards their R&D spend, even if they are not yet turning a profit.

The draft legislation is expected to be introduced into Parliament in early 2010 ahead of a proposed start date of July 1, 2010.

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