What are supporting activities?

Supporting activities are activities that don’t meet the definition of a core R&D activity but:

  • support core R&D activity as their only or main purpose, and
  • are required for and integral to the core activity.

Where can supporting activities be carried out?

Supporting activities can be performed in New Zealand or overseas, provided they support an eligible core R&D activity that’s being undertaken in New Zealand.

Expenditure on supporting R&D activities outside New Zealand can form up to 10% of your total RDTI claim.

When can supporting activities be carried out?

Supporting activities can take place before, during or after the relevant core R&D activity.

To claim expenditure associated with supporting activities, the activities should form part of your GA application. Note also that you can only claim the expenditure in a year that Core R&D takes place.  For example, if you had an approved pre-core supporting activity in FY22 (and this was the only approved activity for the year), which was related to a core R&D activity occurring in FY23, you would claim the expenditure associated with the supporting activity in the FY23 supplementary return.

Examples of supporting activities

Supporting activities can include things like:

  • literature searches to determine if there’s an existing successful approach or solution
  • work done to formulate an idea, proposition or hypothesis, so that it can be tested
  • writing specialised software to monitor R&D results
  • designing and producing equipment to be used in testing or analysis
  • disassembling testing equipment or prototype and/or disposing of waste material.

Maximising your RDTI claim

It’s not compulsory to claim for supporting activities, however, we encourage you to do so. That way you will maximise the tax credit you’re eligible for.

There’s no limit to the number of supporting activities you can apply for.

Excluded activities

Some activities that don’t qualify as core R&D activities, may be eligible as supporting activities.

Other activities aren’t eligible as either core R&D or supporting activities.

Find out more about excluded activities.