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On Thursday October 18, the legislation incorporating the proposed changes to the current R&D tax incentive program (surreptitiously entitled Treasury Laws Amendment (Making Sure Multinationals Pay Their Fair Share of Tax in Australia and Other Measures) Bill 2018) (‘the Bill’), was referred to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee, for further consideration. The referral of the legislation to a Senate Committee should come as no surprise, as this also occurred when the legislation was introduced to replace the former R&D tax concession program with the current R&D incentive program.
Looking into the detail of this action, the Senate Committee has called for public submissions on the Bill; however, the timeframe provided is very tight, with submissions closing in just over 2 weeks, being Monday, the 5th of November.
The referral of these proposed changes to a Senate Committee is a welcome opportunity for companies to express their concerns and views on the impact of the proposed legislation on their current circumstances, in a more transparent environment.
While many companies and organisations made submissions when the draft legislation was first released, the draft legislation was introduced into the lower house without these submissions being made public, which is extremely unusual and perhaps reflective of the fact that the Government knows there are significant concerns with the proposed legislation (both from a policy and operational perspective), and wanted to get the legislation through parliament without having to deal with the issues that would no doubt have been raised via the public consultation process.
This might also explain why the Bill was introduced without any reference to R&D in the Bill’s title, again something that suggests the Government is aware there are concerns with the integrity and operation of the proposed legislative changes but want the Bill to pass regardless of these issues.
Glasshouse Advisory assisted a number of clients and industry organisations with the preparation of their submissions under the initial public consultation process. We would encourage companies, industry bodies and any other businesses that are impacted by the proposed changes to avail themselves of this opportunity to have your voice heard.
After receipt of these submissions, the Senate Committee is scheduled to present their report on the 3rd December 2018.
Given the short timeframe within which to prepare submissions to the Senate Committee, if you would like any assistance or just to simply discuss what your company is seeking to convey in your submission, please call one our R&D experts for assistance.