ato logo
Search Suggestion:

Calculating your notional deduction

The amount you can claim under the R&D tax incentive is calculated using a notional deduction.

Last updated 9 January 2022

After determining your eligibility for the R&D tax incentive, calculate the total amount of your notional R&D deductions to determine the amount of R&D tax offset you can claim.

To do this, multiply your total notional R&D deduction amount by either 43.5% or 38.5% (depending on which R&D tax offset you are eligible for) and claim this amount as an offset in your company tax return.

The rate of the R&D tax offset is reduced to the company tax rate for that portion of an entity’s notional R&D deductions that exceeds $100 million for an income year. This change applies to assessments for income years starting on or after 1 July 2014 and before 1 July 2024.

An R&D entity is entitled to a notional deduction for:

  • expenditure on R&D activities during the income year
  • the decline in value of depreciating assets used for R&D activities during the income year
  • a balancing adjustment for depreciating assets used only for R&D activities

Where an amount is a notional deduction you cannot deduct that amount as a general deduction, for example under section 8-1 of the ITAA 1997, when calculating your taxable income. This is because it is a step in working out the amount of the tax offset the entity may be entitled to, rather than a deduction amount.

Although amounts treated as notional deductions are not actually deducted in calculating your taxable income, they are treated as a deduction when applying:

  • a provision that prevents some or all of an amount being deducted, for example        
    • Division 26 of the ITAA 1997 about amounts you cannot deduct, or cannot deduct in full
    • Division 27 of the ITAA 1997 about the effect of input tax credits on deductions
    • the general anti-avoidance provisions in Part IVA of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA 1936)
  • a provision that changes the income year in which an amount can be deducted, for example        
  • a provision that includes an amount in assessable income because an amount has been deducted, for example        
    • the rule about recoupment of deductible amounts in Subdivision 20-A of the ITAA 1997
    • the cost base rules for capital gains in Part 3-1 and Part 3-3 of the ITAA 1997
    • applying the R&D tax incentive provisions to work out your tax offset entitlement
  • other provisions that refer to an entitlement to a tax offset under the R&D provisions, for example        

Where one of the above provisions allows or requires us to hold an opinion, form a judgment or make a determination, we may do so as if the notional deduction is an actual deduction.