Using an R&D Tax Incentive consultant
A competent R&D Tax Incentive consultant will help you prepare and submit your Tax Incentive application to AusIndustry and the associated R&D Tax Incentive schedule to the Australian Taxation Office.
The R&D Tax Incentive consultant should be able to:
- Maximise your claim
- Ensure that your application is fully compliant.
- Clearly demonstrate to AusIndustry that your application is fully compliant.
- Minimize the time impact on your business.
Please read Why use an R&D Tax Incentive consultant? for more explanation of why you should use an R&D Tax Incentive specialist. Alternatively, please read Can I file my own R&D Tax Incentive application? if you are still thinking of filing your own application.
If you believe that all R&D Tax Incentive consultants are much the same, please read Why choose a good R&D Tax Incentive consultant? You might decide that looking for a good one is worth the effort after all.
If you just want to know what to look for with an R&D Tax Incentive consultant, please read How to choose the right R&D Tax Incentive consultant.
In summary, yes, you should engage an R&D Tax Incentive specialist, but you should look for one that can understand and effectively explain your R&D to AusIndustry.
Managing your R&D Tax Incentive consultant
Even if you use an R&D Tax Incentive consultant, you are still responsible for your R&D Tax Incentive application – the consultant is simply providing a service. So, it is in your interests to make sure that the application is correct and well-written. See AusIndustry reviews for an insight into what can happen if your application is not well-written (and/or not compliant).
The relationship you have with your consultant depends upon what sort of consultant you have, and what their skill set is. That might sound odd, but funnily enough, all R&D Tax Incentive consultants have the same skill set.
All R&D Tax Incentive consultants must be registered tax agents. That means that the ATO R&D Tax schedule should be correct. It is, however, no guarantee that the AusIndustry R&D Tax Incentive application will be correct or well-written.
The three basic things that you can do to ensure that your AusIndustry R&DTI application is compliant and well-written are:
- Engage a consultant who can understand your R&D and summarise it sensibly – see R&D consultant understand your R&D?
- Give your consultant a good technical summary of your R&D activities – see R&D technical summary – why this is important.
- Review your AusIndustry application before it is submitted – See Review your R&D Tax Incentive application.
If you have a good R&D Tax Incentive consultant that you can really trust (see Do you trust your R&D Tax Incentive consultant) with solid technical skills, then the second and third points are not quite as critical.
A good consultant will be proactive and tenacious about understanding your R&D and will have the R&D experience and technical skills to support this. This is turn should mean that your application is correct and well-written. However, that doesn’t mean that the consultant won’t value a good technical summary, and it doesn’t mean you can skip reviewing your application.
Getting started with an R&D Tax Incentive consultant
If you haven’t used an R&D Tax Incentive consultant before, or have changed consultants, then you should have an initial meeting with the new consultant to discuss your planned application. The initial chat should be entirely complimentary.
The best time to talk to your consultant is before you start on any R&D that could be eligible for the R&DTI. TechAbstract would recommend talking to your consultant early in the financial year. If you possibly have eligible R&D from the just-finished financial year, you can, of course, discuss this as well. Still, just as importantly, you can get some valuable information on managing your R&D in the new financial year to get the best value from the R&D Tax Incentive. See Structure your R&D for the R&D Tax Incentive.