Who is TechAbstract?
TechAbstract provides specialist R&D Tax Incentive services for small to medium companies. TechAbstract’s R&D Tax Incentive services cater to ongoing clients and those new to the R&D Tax Incentive.
TechAbstract is 100% independent and is not associated with any accountancy firm. We work closely with your existing accountant – TechAbstract will not replace your existing accountant, who will still need to prepare and submit your company tax return.
TechAbstract is different. We only consist of graduates from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) which provides a qualified platform of technical competence and experience that underscores our R&D Tax Incentive services.
TechAbstract covers a range of industries (see below). Don’t see your industry listed? Don’t worry – we are happy for you to be the first! Our R&D experience, technical skills, and STEM qualifications mean that we can take on any technical domain, including yours.
Unlike some R&DTI specialists, we welcome software-based applications. In fact, we specialize in software applications. Don’t believe anyone who tells you that software R&D Tax Incentive applications are risky. See Software R&D Tax Incentive applications – are they risky?
Jamie Collins, the founder and director of TechAbstract, is a mechanical engineer and registered tax agent for the R&D Tax Incentive and prior to the formation of TechAbstract was an auditor of the R&D Tax Concession for AusIndustry until 2009.
His engineering and commercial background from manufacturing, scientific instrumentation, automotive products, logistics, and training/assessment coupled with the time at AusIndustry ensures that TechAbstract has the real-world, practical experience to understand a very broad range of businesses and their projects and to identify and assess eligibility and determine the available benefit to them from the R&D Tax Incentive.
Jamie’s expansion of TechAbstract comes from referrals. Unlike other consultants, both big and small, he doesn’t seek massive growth in the number of clients as his preference is for small and medium-sized businesses that are actually undertaking eligible R&D activities to ensure TechAbstract’s provision of successful, compliant and valuable applications for eligible Australian companies.
Cristina Lee is the General Manager at TechAbstract. Before joining TechAbstract, Cristina held senior leadership roles with global organisations delivering strategic, commercial and customer experience results throughout Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
Cristina has worked across many different industries including FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Good), Publishing, Entertainment and Media. Cristina is known for her proactive, solution driven and highly organised approach and her skill at building strong collaborative relationships based on open communication and trust.
Ian Combes is an associate at TechAbstract, specialising in the technical research of clients R&D activities and the drafting of R&D Tax Incentive applications for AusIndustry.
Before joining TechAbstract in 2019, Ian had a successful career over many years in cutting-edge software R&D projects for leading technology companies in both a development role and in a management role.
Ian brings a deep understanding of R&D principles to TechAbstract along with a well-honed ability to abstract and explain complex R&D concepts in simple terms. The key is getting at the ‘crux’ of a problem and reducing it to its basic elements.
This experience and expertise allow TechAbstract to understand, summarise and explain complex R&D activities in clear R&D Tax Incentive applications that can be readily assessed by AusIndustry, whilst maximising the claimed R&D, and minimising the client’s time commitment.
Ian’s speciality is software R&D, but his experience and analytical mindset allow him to successfully tackle a broad range of R&D topics at TechAbstract.
Before establishing TechAbstract, TechAbstract, Jamie Collins, was engaged by AusIndustry as a field auditor.
Jamie Collins’ experience at AusIndustry highlighted the difficulty that many R&DTI applicants had in presenting their claimed R&D in a way that could be assessed by AusIndustry. In more cases than not, when Jamie reviewed their application with them (usually face to face), he found that the applicant often had eligible R&D – it just hadn’t been presented effectively.
It became apparent to Jamie that applicants often had not been well-served by the consultants who had prepared their AusIndustry applications. It was often difficult or impossible to work out from the technical narrative of what was being claimed. There had to be a better way, which prompted Jamie to start TechAbstract in 2010.
TechAbstract serves small to medium-sized businesses. We like working with the business owner, as they are usually passionate about what they are doing. However, small businesses typically don’t have the technical (or often the financial) resources to get involved with the R&DTI by themselves and need a lot more guidance and support than bigger companies. Time is also typically a scarce resource in a small business.
Our mission is to make it as easy as we can to support these small businesses to access the R&DTI. It is a real shame that many small businesses actually do real R&D, but don’t access the R&DTI because it all seems too hard, and they don’t know where to start, or even what they can claim.
R&D Tax Incentive focus
Tech Abstract only deals with the R&D Tax Incentive. By doing that, we have become very good at it.
Clients often ask us why we don’t offer services related to other government assistance programs and grants. Quite simply, it isn’t worth it. There are certainly a large number of available grants, that is true. However, being accepted for these grants is very hit and miss. Typically, grants have a finite budget – once the available funding has been allocated, applications are closed. Many are only open for a short time. In effect, you are competing with other applicants for an (often very) finite pool of funding.
The other issue with many grants is that the criteria are not very transparent. Supposedly, grants are based on ‘merit’. The assessment of this ‘merit’ is usually very mysterious. Anyone who reads the news will know there are often question marks over how grant money is allocated. In short, many grants are a lottery.
By contrast, the amount of funding available for the R&D Tax Incentive is not artificially capped (which does cause the Government angst at times). Eligibility is assessed according to published AusIndustry guidelines, backed by legislation (not ‘merit’). If you qualify for the R&DTI – you will benefit as you are not competing with other applicants.
Yes, the Government has made various attempts to change the R&DTI programme (including just in 2020), but it is doubtful that the base legislation will change anytime soon.
During his time as an AusIndustry field auditor, Jamie used the analogy of “hitting a brick wall – you can’t go over it, under it or around it. To get past it, you need to step back and conceive a possible way and then conduct R&D activities to get past the wall or fail trying”.
This analogy enabled the applicants to tell (in their own words) what their ‘technical gaps’ were and to describe what activities they had undertaken to gain the ‘new knowledge’ for a likely solution. This allowed an effective assessment to be made for the eligibility of their project’s R&D activities.
TechAbstract continues to use this proven method, allowing TechAbstract to only submit effective and compliant applications to AusIndustry that can be readily assessed as compliant by AusIndustry.
What is our process, what can you expect from us, and what do we expect from you? See The TechAbstract Process for details.
Why should you use TechAbstract? Put bluntly – we care. We demonstrate that care by taking the trouble to research and draft high-quality AusIndustry and ATO applications on your behalf. Of course, any R&DTI consultancy will say that, but many fail to deliver. Tech Abstract never fails to deliver.
TechAbstract is passionate about providing the best service we can to you, our client. That includes understanding your business and what makes it special.
TechAbstract treats our clients as long term partners. Many of our clients have been with us for many years. When we ask them why they stay with is, they said: “you know what you are doing”. That is partly because we place great importance on understanding their R&D and what they are trying to achieve with their R&D. That goes directly to our core values.
You may have noticed that we go to great lengths to stress the importance of finding the best R&D Tax Incentive specialist you can. The reason is that your R&D Tax Incentive specialist is your partner in your R&D tax Incentive submission – you need to be able to trust them implicitly.
Our clients trust TechAbstract – you can too.