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MJA Updates

R&D Rate Reduction Bill – Still Hanging in There

September 17, 2015 Melanie Reen

The Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. 3) Bill 2015 has appeared and re-appeared on the Senate Order of Business a number of times over the life of the current Senate, without coming to a vote or, until this week, even being debated. This Bill, if passed, will reduce the rates of the refundable and non-refundable offsets by 1.5 percentage points to 43.5 and 38.5 per cent respectively, resulting in an after-tax benefit of 13.5c and 8.5c in the dollar. To date, this Bill is still hanging in there, unable to find support outside of the Government’s own ranks.

In this most recent sitting week, while everyone was mesmerised by the leadership tussle that took over the airwaves on Monday night, the rate reduction bill was being debated in the Senate. Labor Senators Jacinta Collins, Joseph Ludwig, Chris Ketter, Glenn Sterle, Carol Brown and Catryna Bilyk, Green Senator Janet Rice and cross-benchers Senators Xenophon and Lazarus spoke to support the R&D tax incentive in its current form.

Shortly thereafter, incoming Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in his first press conference expressed support for the need to promote more innovation, thus: “The Australia of the future has to be a nation that is agile, that is innovative, that is creative.”

It is our hope that Prime Minister Turnbull will foster, in his words, “a culture of engagement of, consultation, of collaboration” as promised on that first night, and that under new leadership there will be some room for negotiation on the R&D tax incentive, and this Bill in particular. The Senate next sits again from October 12th and we will keep you posted on the progress of the Bill. MJA will begin to engage immediately with the relevant Ministers in the new Cabinet, and will continue to lobby for sensible industry policy, as we’ve been doing for so many years.

Should you wish to discuss this matter further, please do not hesitate to contact Melanie Reen on (02) 9810 7211 or email melanie.reen@mjassociates.com.au

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