R&D Tax Incentive – Overseas Finding

What is an overseas finding

An Overseas Finding is a special provision in the Australian R&D Tax Incentive that allows companies to claim costs for R&D activities conducted abroad, provided they can prove these activities are essential and unavailable within Australia. The overseas expenses must be closely linked to Australian-based R&D and cannot exceed 50% of the total project costs.


The Australian government’s R&D Tax Incentive is primarily geared towards domestic research and development activities. However, there are special conditions under which companies can claim expenses incurred from overseas development. These special cases fall under what is referred to as an Advanced Finding or Overseas Finding. While this may seem like an enticing prospect, the government sets high bars to clear before you’re eligible for such a claim. Here’s what you need to know.


Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for an Overseas Finding, your project must reach a stage where it needs resources that are exclusively available outside of Australia. This could be in terms of:

  • Professional skill sets
  • Geographical conditions
  • Populations
  • Manufacturing standards and capabilities
  • Testing conditions

The key here is that the necessity for an overseas finding should not be based on cost alone. AusIndustry won’t consider lower costs in developing countries a valid reason. The overseas component must provide a level of technical expertise or quality that you can’t find in Australia.

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The Proof is in the Pudding

You’ll need to provide a substantial level of evidence to support your claim. These could include:

  1. Desktop Research: Formal background research to prove the non-availability of your needed resources in Australia.
  2. Tender Proposals: Provide evidence that you explored Australian markets and explain why they were not suitable for your project.
  3. Expert Opinion: Letters or documents from experts in your field asserting that the overseas operation is necessary.
  4. Overseas Findings: Documented evidence of what you’ve discovered or achieved overseas.


Claim Conditions

Even if your R&D activities meet the eligibility criteria, there are further conditions you must satisfy:

  • Australia-centric: Your overseas activities must be closely tied to experiments being conducted in Australia.

  • 50% Test: Your overseas expenses should not exceed 50% of the total project costs. Essentially, at least 51% of your total project costs must be spent in Australia.


The Approval Process

Applying for an Overseas Finding is a more rigorous and time-consuming process than a standard R&D Tax Incentive claim. Be prepared for a stringent review process that scrutinises every aspect of your claim. You need to convincingly prove that your overseas requirements are not met in Australia.

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Possible Outcomes

Once submitted, your application could result in one of four outcomes:

  • Eligible activities
  • Ineligible activities
  • Partially eligible activities
  • No decision


How Bulletpoint Can Assist

Navigating the intricate labyrinth of R&D tax incentives is no small feat, especially when it involves overseas findings. This is where Bulletpoint comes in. As Melbourne-based consultancy specialists with a decade of experience, we are Australia’s highest-rated R&D tax consultants.

Our approach is straightforward and personable. We cut through the jargon and help you understand the complexities of the R&D tax incentive process in line with government terms. Over the years, we’ve successfully lodged over 500 R&D claims, amassing an average rating of 4.8 stars from over 250 Google reviews.

Our team at Bulletpoint can assist you by:

  • Claim Evaluation: We help you evaluate if your overseas activities meet the stringent government criteria.
  • Evidence Preparation: From desktop research to sourcing expert opinions, we guide you in gathering all the necessary evidence.
  • Application Submission: With us, you get expert oversight on your application to ensure that it meets all the Australian government’s requirements.
  • Post-Submission Support: We also provide support post-submission, helping you deal with any queries or clarifications from AusIndustry.

We make sure that you not only understand but excel in aligning your perception of R&D with the government’s eligibility criteria. If you’re ready to take the next step in your R&D tax incentive journey with Overseas Findings, book a meeting with us or call 1300 658 508 for a personalised consultation.

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