What does maximising your R&D Tax Claim mean? We believe it means ensuring that you integrate record-keeping into your business processes so that you automatically, consistently, and repeatedly record all your investments from year to year. That way, nothing is missed and your claim will be fully maximised. It will also mean that you will be able to easily substantiate your claim should you be audited.
You can achieve this by following six straight forward steps to achieve two main objectives. The first is Compliance Readiness, as referred to by AusIndustry, which is achieved when you have satisfied all the requirements for registering a claim. The second objective is to maintain compliance readiness by monitoring and auditing in a process of continuous improvement.
You can meet the R&D Incentive record-keeping objectives using the following six-step framework to create an easily repeatable R&D Process, as illustrated in Figure 1.
Objective 1. Achieve Compliance Readiness
- Develop a cross-department R&D Tax Compliance Manual,
- Implement Compliant Planning and Record-Keeping,
- Establish Management Systems to automate Record-Keeping,
Objective 2. Continuously Improve and reduce risk
- Periodic Spot Checks of Project/Activity/Task Record-Keeping,
- Periodic Detailed Review and Auditing of Project/Activity/Task Record-Keeping
- Periodic Compliance Assessment and Reporting
The requirement for a repeatable R&D Process that is well documented, integrated into day to day business processes, and monitored and improved, is not something that the R&D team can enable on its own. The integration into business processes needs to be supported by all levels of management and instilled into the culture.
There is a lot of money at stake, so it is very important to maximize your claim. Doing so has the potential to improve the bottom line, make R&D more affordable and importantly, enable R&D activities to remain in Australia. Take the opportunity to improve your processes as soon as possible, and allow each R&D dollar to go further.