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Steps to claim for a General Approval application

Here’s how to make a claim as part of a General Approval application. The example below shows the steps to claim for the 2021/2022 tax year. If you are a business with a tax agent and a standard balance date (which means your income year ends on the 31 March), your claim will be for R&D activities undertaken during the period from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022.

Year 3 (2021/2022) example for a business with a tax agent and a 31 March income year end

1 April 2021
R&D activity undertaken
31 March 2022
07 May 2022
GA application to be submitted on myIR
  • If your business does not have a tax agent’s extension of time, the date for submitting a 2021/2022 tax return would usually be 7 July 2022.
  • Does your business have a different income year end? Click here for examples of your key dates.
  • NOTE: an extension of time may be granted if you don’t have one, please contact the RDTI team before your income tax return is due.

Submit your RDTI application for General Approval (GA)

After you have checked that you are enrolled for the RDTI in myIR, the first step is to submit an application for general approval (or GA) of your R&D activities. Applying for in-year general approval is free, and it is intended to provide you with certainty that your R&D activities are eligible for the RDTI.

This part of the claim process is focussed solely on your R&D activities. You can submit a general approval application in anticipation of planned R&D activities, or for R&D activities that you have already undertaken during the income year. The standard deadline for filing an RDTI application for general approval is the 7th day of the second month following the end of the first income year which the application relates to.

You can submit multiple general approval applications during the year. Some businesses like the certainty of getting approval for their activities at the start of the year. If your R&D programme pivots during the year, you can submit another application for approval. If you expect that your activities will take longer than a year to complete, you may also apply for general approval for up to a maximum of three years.

What does the application for General Approval look like in myIR?

If you have enrolled for the RDTI, you will find the application for ‘General Approval’ in your myIR account. You will be required to submit details about your R&D activities. The activity description will link back to the RDTI definition of core and supporting R&D activities and you will need to explain how your activity meets the tests.

Involve your R&D team early on in the preparation of your RDTI claim. Your application for general approval needs to show how you have broken your R&D projects down into activities that identify a common technological or scientific uncertainty – so it’s important to involve your technical R&D people when preparing this information.

A dedicated review team within Callaghan Innovation is working with Inland Revenue to assess all general approval applications. This team makes a recommendation to Inland Revenue on the eligibility of the R&D activities that you are undertaking. It’s important to also note that, for tax privacy reasons, the team assessing your application won’t be your usual Callaghan Innovation contact (if you have one).

You must obtain general approval for your R&D activities to be able to claim for the associated expenditure at the end of the income year.

ANZSRC codes

When you apply for general approval (online form on myIR), you need to include the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC) code most relevant to your area of research.

ANZSRC is a statistical classification used for R&D measurement and analysis in Australia and New Zealand. The code is for statistical purposes only and will not be used during the appraisal process.

Currently the link on the online general approval application to assist customers to locate their ANZSRC code does not work. To help you complete this part of the application, choose from the full list of ANZSRC codes below.

Download as a PDF
Download as XLS (Excel)

Submit your Income Tax Return

The next step comes at the end of the year when you prepare your income tax return in myIR. Your income tax return will include a few extra fields to allow you to calculate the amount of income tax payable, as the RDTI is a tax credit that reduces the total amount of income tax that you owe.

If you are a business with a tax agent and a standard balance date, your 2021/2022 income tax return will be due on 31 March 2023, as shown in the above example.


Submit your Research & Development Supplementary Return

The final step in the process is the submission of your RDTI supplementary return. If you have enrolled for the RDTI, you will find the ‘Research and Development Supplementary Return’ in your myIR account (it must be filed electronically).

The supplementary return requires you to provide details about the money you spent on your eligible R&D activities.  You will need to supply the amounts for different expenditure types like salary costs, contractor costs and depreciation.

Keep Good Records. Even though you won’t need to submit the RDTI supplementary return until the due date, you must keep ongoing records for both the activity and expenditure as you conduct your R&D. Should we require you to substantiate your claim, your records provide the best supporting evidence for your claim.

What does the RDTI supplementary return look like in myIR?

  • Preview the myIR screenshots here, to help you prepare your submission. Note that this preview is a guide only – your RDTI supplementary return must be electronically filed in myIR.
  • Your pre-approved R&D activities from your general approval application will pre-populate your supplementary return.
  • If there has been a material change to your pre-approved activities there is a box on the supplementary return for you to describe these changes.
  • Still have questions? Contact the RDTI team.

The supplementary return can be filed up until 30 days after your income tax return is due – in the above example that is 30 April 2023. However, it is recommended that you file early to avoid missing the deadline.

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