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.
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.
Is my business eligible?(external link) — R&D Tax Incentive NZ
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.
- Research and Development Tax Incentive: Review of implementation [PDF 238KB]
- Briefing: Research & Development Tax Incentive - Early implementation review [PDF 365KB]
- Aide memoire: Research & Development Tax Incentive update – 9 April 2021 [PDF 117KB]
- Providing transitional support to R&D performing businesses [PDF 268KB]
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
- Ministerial Direction to Callaghan Innovation on the administration of a RDTI transitional support mechanism [PDF 885KB]
- Research, science and innovation briefings on the R&D tax incentive 14 June - 29 August 2018 [PDF 216KB]
- Briefing Approach to the Research & Development Tax Incentive Bill [PDF 72KB]
- Briefing R&D Tax Incentive Summary of Submissions [PDF 1.5MB]
- Report on UK and Norway R&D Tax Credit Schemes [PDF 180KB]
- Cabinet paper R&D tax incentive for implementation [PDF 113KB]
- Support for loss-making firms and transition arrangements for Growth Grant recipients R&D Tax Incentive Briefing [PDF 123KB]
- Options to expedite transition of Growth Grant recipients - R&D tax incentive briefing [PDF 107KB]
- Briefing R&D Tax Incentive: Extensions to Growth Grant contracts [PDF 74KB]
- Research and Development Tax Incentive for Implementation [PDF 328KB]
- Science and Innovation briefings on Budget 2018: 2 November 2017 – 15 May 2018 [PDF 5.3MB]