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Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Page: 9160

Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongAssistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation) (10:41): I move:

That the amendments be agreed to.

The Tax Laws Amendment (Research and Development) Bill 2010 and Income Tax Rates Amendment (Research and Development) Bill 2010 passed the House on 22 November 2010 and were introduced into the Senate the following day. The Senate has made amendments to the Tax Laws Amendment (Research and Development) Bill 2010 that will allow firms that will receive a refundable tax offset to apply to effectively anticipate that offset for quarterly credits from 1 January 2014. This will provide more timely assistance to those firms through increased cash flows. This is another example of the Gillard government acting to assist business. At this point, I would like to acknowledge the assistance of the crossbench in advancing industry views on quarterly credits.

The amendments moved by the government show that the government has continued to listen to industry throughout the development process to frame the best program possible. The precise rules governing whether and how a particular firm will be available to receive quarterly credits and the most efficient and effective means of providing quarterly credits in general will be determined in light of the experience with operation of the new R&D tax incentive. Consequently, it is not feasible to include those details in these amendments, which instead provide for the regime to be implemented for regulations. However, the amendments demonstrate the government's clear commitment that a quarterly credits regime is to be part of the new R&D tax incentive. The government also moved amendments in the Senate to defer the start date for the new R&D tax incentive by 12 months such that the new tax incentive will apply for income years commencing on or after 1 July 2011.

I share the disappointment of many businesses over the delay in starting the program, especially those small businesses who might have hoped that the program would start from 1 July 2010. However, businesses will now be able to plan their research and development activities with confidence, knowing their entitlement to access increased benefits is available from 1 July 2011. In relation to those amendments, the Senate has requested a consequential amendment to the Income Tax Rates Amendment (Research and Development) Bill, deferring its application by one year. I commend these amendments to the House.