AMCA Responds to Research & Development Tax Incentive Review

Published: 28 October 2016

The AMCA welcomed the opportunity to provide input to the Commonwealth's review of the R&D Tax Incentive and supports the principles based approach underpinning the current program.

However, we encourage government to take into account the enormous diversity of research and development activities that occur across different industries. The diverse and experimental nature of activities makes it important to retain some flexibility with respect to definition and interpretation.

This is particularly important for industries such as building and construction, where the next frontier of research and development will be the digitisation of procurement and construction processes. This is a step change from traditional construction approaches, and is inherently experimental. Nevertheless, the types of experimentation on construction projects differ from those conducted in controlled environments.

Unlike many industries typically associated with research and development activities, the construction environment includes numerous parties working concurrently on projects in a dynamic environment that is changing day-to-day. The bespoke nature of buildings also means that no-two projects are the same. Such factors have important implications for what can be considered business as usual activities. They are also the reason that building and construction has typically lagged other industries in terms of innovation.

Therefore, the AMCA considers the R&D tax incentive to be an important policy lever capable of incentivising construction industry firms to invest in research and development activities, and encourages government to maintain a sufficiently flexible definition of eligible activities.

Download the full AMCA's submission here