Research and Development Tax Incentive

The R&D Tax Incentive helps businesses innovate and contribute to a stronger, more productive economy that benefits all New Zealanders.

Features of the incentive

The main features of the R&D tax incentive include:

  • a credit rate of 15%
  • a $120 million cap on eligible expenditure
  • a minimum R&D expenditure threshold of $50,000 per year, unless the expenditure related to R&D contracted out to an Approved Research Provider
  • the option of in-year payments via an interest-free government loan
  • the inclusion of state-owned enterprises, industry research cooperatives, levy bodies, and minority-owned subsidiaries of select Crown entities.

How businesses can apply

The Inland Revenue Department’s (IRD online tool can help businesses assess their eligibility for the R&D tax incentive.

Eligibility for the research and development tax incentive(external link) — IRD

Businesses that intend to claim the tax incentive can enrol via myIR before they officially apply by submitting a General Approval or a Criteria and Methodologies Application. Enrolment will provide businesses with an initial assessment of their eligibility and key information about how to apply.

More information about eligibility, approved research providers, record keeping obligations and in-year payments can be found on the Inland Revenue Department’s website and our R&D tax incentive website.

Research and development tax incentive(external link) — IRD

Is my business eligible?(external link) — R&D Tax Incentive NZ

Policy development

2020 Implementation review

In 2020, MBIE commissioned an independent review of the early implementation of the scheme to identify how it was working so far and whether any parts of the process could be improved. The review comprised interviews with a range of stakeholders and focused on the experience of businesses and their advisors through the application process for the RDTI.

The Taxation Act 2019

The Act which introduced the Tax Incentive was passed into law in early May 2019. The following related documents track the progress of the legislation through Parliament and the policy development process:

The Taxation (Research and Development Tax Credits) Bill(external link) — Parliament website

Other policy and briefing documents

Last updated: 31 May 2023