Preparing technical descriptions

The R&DTI application is the online document that is submitted to AusIndustry which generates the IR number required on the R&D schedule which forms part of the company tax return submitted to the ATO that results in the tax offset being refunded if the criteria are met. Phew! Trying saying that fast…

In addition to details about the R&D entity, and contact details for the company declarant, nominated contact, and any R&D specialist (that’s us) used, the application requires a description of the activities that are to be claimed, and an estimate of the expenditures.

Although financial details on the application are allowed to be estimates, it is highly recommended that the expenditure calculations are completed at the same time as the application is prepared so that accurate matching of expenditures and activities can be made. It is common during the technical assessment and description of activities to determine that particular activities are ineligible, or only partially eligible as supporting activities, and the corresponding adjustments to the expenditure calculations need to be made.

If we are preparing your technical descriptions, we will conduct interviews with technical staff and reference technical documentation to create them. We will help to classify activities into core and support activities, and we also need to know if they were conducted by an RSP or a CRC or another organisation on your behalf.

There is a skill in describing the activities in a way that an assessor without specific technical expertise in your field can understand what was done and be able to determine that it meets the eligibility criteria. The text needs to capture the innovation being achieved, without over-complicating the situation for the reader to a point where they need further information to understand it.

If you have technical writing experience, then you can prepare your technical descriptions yourself.

Activity descriptions in the application are limited in length (character limits are imposed in the portal fields), the portal fields only accept text (no images), with limited formatting so the descriptions need be concise as well as informative without being too complex.