Changes to the R&D Tax Incentive Portal

In response to the pandemic, seemingly all departments of the Australian government are moving their services online to customer portals or mobile applications. In line with this trend, Ausindustry has launched their most recent bid to further improve support for businesses seeking to apply for the R&D tax incentive

Moving from a Smart form PDF lodgement system, Ausindustry has announced a number of key changes along with the launch of a customer portal to improve the scalability of service delivery and reduce wait times.

Following the launch of the portal on 5 July 2021, the government will cease accepting PDF smart form applications.

With a variety of reforms being made to the incentive, companies who are seeking to lodge their 2021 financial year applications should pay attention to what’s changed. Read below to know what’s new.

Portal Information

The portal will be migrating a large volume of existing customer and system data between 1 July and 4 July 2021, with the portal going live on 5 July 2021. While applicants won’t be able to submit applications until 5 July 2021, users can still begin drafting their forms to claim the R&D tax incentive in a timely fashion.

The portal will include:

  • an online space for you, and your authorised representatives, to manage your company’s interactions with the R&D tax incentive program
  • an updated application form – making it clearer for you to understand the eligibility criteria and how to address these in your application
  • improved security through myGovID digital identity services that is linked to your company’s ABN using Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM)

What Do You Need To Do To Access The Portal?

  • Individual directors looking to receive a tax incentive must use a personal MyGovID account
  • Linking of this account to the ATO’s Relationship Authorisation Management (RAM) system
  • The linking of MyGovIDs and registry of any collaborators or representatives acting on the behalf of the company in the RAM
  • A link being established between a business’ nominated tax agent and the R&D entity prior to the drafting of the R&D tax incentive form can be done within the portal once the Portal has been established

Form Changes

Following the update to the portal, the new submission form will also require a greater depth of information from businesses. This includes the relationship between a business’ experiments and their search for new knowledge, with businesses having to detail the specific R&D processes they followed to source new information along which resulted in unknown outcomes. The form also asks further questions on the breakdown of registered expenditure for each activity and whether or not the activities resulted in the creation of goods or services.


The portal will provide a variety of benefits for tax incentive applicants, including improved security, the ability to view application status in real time and notifications about approaching deadlines.

If you have any questions about changes to the R&D tax incentive process or portal, get in contact with a team member at Morrows.

Image source: Shutterstock (410091238)

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