So what is the TechAbstract process?
The TechAbstract process has been proven over a ten-year period as being highly effective and robust. Any good R&DTI consultancy, however, should follow a similar process.
The goals of the TechAbstract process are to:
- Establish that you do have eligible R&D activities and that an application for those activities will be fully compliant with the R&D Tax Incentive requirements (see Offset your R&D costs to help innovate and grow your business).
- Find all your eligible R&D activities, and document those activities.
- Achieve a clear, readily-assessable and fully compliant AusIndustry application.
- Achieve a fully compliant ATO R&D Tax Schedule.
To achieve these goals, TechAbstract will follow these steps:
- Engagement face to face meeting
- Technical discovery
- AusIndustry application drafting, review and submission
- ATO R&D Tax Schedule preparation and submission
Each of these steps is explained below.
In the engagement meeting, TechAbstract will explain the service that we will provide for you and the process that we follow when preparing and submitting your R&D Tax Incentive application. We will explain how the R&D Tax Incentive works, what is involved in using it, and what you can expect from it.
We will do an initial assessment of your R&D activities (complimentary) and give you an honest assessment of your eligibility. If we do not believe that you have eligible R&D, we will advise you of that – TechAbstract will only take on applications that we would be happy to defend in an AusIndustry review.
If you have any questions or concerns about our service or the R&D Tax Incentive, we are only too happy to answer them for you.
TechAbstract will leave you with an engagement letter that also outlines our fees.
The Technical discovery process
Once you have engaged Tech Abstract, we will undertake a technical discovery of your R&D activities. This discovery may involve a combination of one or more face to face interviews, email discussions and/or Zoom/Teams video conferences.
Our purpose is :
- To form a working overview of your R&D activities.
- To identify which R&D activities are eligible for the R&D Tax Incentive.
- To uncover the relevant details of these R&D activities – problems, knowledge gaps, experiments performed, results of those experiments.
- Advise you on the need for supporting documentation for the identified R&D activities (this may affect the eligibility).
The working overview is to put the claimed R&D activities into a useful context for AusIndustry.
We are most interested in the problems (technical gaps) you had to overcome, and what you did to overcome those problems through an experimental process. Some context around those problems and solutions also helps us explain the R&D activities to AusIndustry.
It is helpful if you can provide us with a high-level summary of your R&D activities. Internal technical documents can also help in some situations.
If you don’t have a suitable summary, we will typically do a face to face Q&A with some of your technical experts and create a technical summary from this discussion. Our experience and technical skills allow us to capture technical information relatively efficiently, minimizing the impact on your time.
We will share our technical summary with you and make any changes or additions needed following your review – TechAbstract needs to have confidence in our understanding of your R&D before we draft the AusIndustry application.
This sets Tech Abstract apart from many other R&D Tax Incentive consultancies where you would be typically asked to review the completed AusIndustry application. The difference is that you are the audience for our technical summary, whereas the R&D Tax Incentive application is written for AusIndustry.
Drafting the AusIndustry R&D Tax Incentive application
Once TechAbstract has a good high-level understanding of your R&D, we will draft the technical narrative for the R&D activities we are claiming in the AusIndustry R&DTI application. Generally, we will have enough information by this stage, although it may be necessary to clarify some details at times – our priority is getting your application right.
If you are a new client of TechAbstract, we will also ask you for more background information about your company and the R&D that you do. This information is needed to draft the preliminary sections of the AusIndustry R&DTI application.
To complete the AusIndustry application, we will also need a draft company profit and loss statement for the financial year in question. This can be generated from your office accounting system or, it may come from your accountant.
We may ask you to review the completed application although we have found it much more useful for you to review our technical summary of your R&D,
We will then submit your R&D Tax Incentive application to AusIndustry.
ATO R&D Tax Schedule
The second major step in the application process is preparing and submitting the R&D Tax Schedule for the claimed R&D to the Australian Taxation Office.
Two things are needed for this:
- The R&D registration number from AusIndustry
- The final (official) profit and loss statement from your accountant
Normally, AusIndustry is fairly prompt in supplying the registration number, so the ‘gate’ is usually obtaining the final P&L.
TechAbstract will work with your accountant in the preparation of the R&D Tax Schedule. This may involve TechAbstract clarifying expenses relating to the claimed R&D activities with your accountant.
Once TechAbstract has completed the R&D Tax Schedule, we will submit it to the Australian Taxation Office. Once the ATO has processed the R&D Tax Schedule (approximately 30 days), we will forward that to you and your accountant,
Note that the R&D Tax Schedule must be completed before your accountant can lodge your company tax return, so leave enough time for this.
AusIndustry and ATO reviews
The R&D Tax Incentive is a self-assessment program, so AusIndustry and the ATO may not check the application at the time of submission, but if AusIndustry or the ATO do have queries, we will help manage your response.
Similarly, if AusIndustry or the ATO review your application later, we will help formulate a response to that review.
TechAbstract will only invoice you for our services once the ATO has processed the R&D Tax Schedule, and your refund (or tax credit) has been paid.