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The four things startups need to know to get cash from the government

Thursday, 23 October 2014 | By Charmaine Chalmers

Getting sufficient funding to get your business off the ground is one of the most significant challenges for startups – perhaps the hardest struggle an entrepreneur can face in the early days.

 

One of the most lucrative benefits is the federal government’s R&D Tax Incentive, a crucial source of funding for many startups. Unfortunately, many businesses find the claim process for R&D difficult to navigate and are unsure about what they can claim. Many are also worried about getting it wrong.

 

This is an unfortunate position given the huge benefits the R&D Tax Incentive can provide. Many commercial products have made it to market due to R&D tax incentives.

 

Our research indicates there are three times the number of small businesses in Australia who are eligible than actually claim the R&D tax incentive.

 

Many may be missing out purely because they think the application process is too burdensome.

 

Here are four things a startup should know in order to get the cash they’re entitled to – and get it fast:

 

1. Lots of product development activities are eligible. You don’t need to be a science lab to be eligible for the R&D Tax Incentive. Don’t discount yourself just because you think your activity may not be high-tech enough. You may be wrong.

 

2. You don’t need to have paid tax to get the incentive. Small businesses can receive the benefit in a cash payment.

 

3. You can still claim for the 2013-14 year – it isn’t too late.

 

4. The R&D Tax Incentive is not a grant. If you are eligible, you’ll receive a benefit – it’s not competitive funding.

 

Nifty R&D is a new tool developed by PwC, created in order to help small businesses access the R&D Tax Incentive with an easy to use, streamlined system. Claims are reviewed by PwC’s R&D specialists as part of the Nifty R&D process.

 

Nifty R&D allows users to complete their R&D Tax Incentive application form in under an hour and uses an automated process saving time and effort, whilst still maintaining an important customer benefit – the peace of mind of a PwC review.

 

Charmaine Chalmers is a partner, R&D Incentives at PricewaterhouseCoopers.