The Australian Government offers a range of programs to help Australian businesses of all industries and sizes to improve on competitiveness and productivity. There are various programs targeting specific industries – and there may be a right program out there for your business.
Key action items:
- Contact your advisers for help.
- Identify the right grant or assistance program for your business.
- Find out the eligibility and application requirements. Note any strict application deadlines.
- Gather relevant documentation and make the right records.
The following are details of some of the key programs available from the Australian Government. Please contact our office for further information.
R&D tax incentive
This provides a tax offset to help businesses offset some of the costs of doing research and development (R&D). It is open to businesses of all sizes, and in all sectors, that are conducting eligible R&D. The Government is proposing to reduce the rates of the tax offset available by 1.5%. The rate of offset depends on the turnover of the business. Registration for the incentive is critical and the deadline for lodging an application for registration is 10 months after the end of the company’s income year. That is, a company wishing to register for the incentive for the 2013–2014 income year and has, for example:
- a non-standard income year of 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013, must lodge their registration application by 30 October 2014; or
- a standard income year of 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014, must lodge their registration application by 30 April 2015.
Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Program
This program offers Australian businesses easy access to practical support. Among other things, the Program features access to experienced private sector advisers, small co-contributions for re-engineering or growth opportunities, and connection and collaboration opportunities. The program has a phased delivered, with initial services having commenced on 1 July 2014. Eligibility criteria apply for more targeted assistance and grants.
Industry Skills Fund
The $476 million Industry Skills Fund skills fund provides up to 200,000 training places and support services over four years. The fund prioritises small- to medium-sized enterprises, including micro businesses. It aims to assist Australian industry to access training and support services. The fund will commence on 1 January 2015.
Certain Inputs to Manufacture (CIM) program
The CIM program aims to improve the competitiveness of Australian industry by providing import duty concessions on certain imported raw materials and intermediate goods such as chemical, plastics or paper goods. In addition, CIM covers metal materials and goods which are used for the packaging of food. Applications are primarily assessed on the basis of an independent technical assessment which demonstrates that the imported goods are substantially and demonstrably superior in certain respects to comparable goods produced in Australia for specific end products.