Core R&D activities

Outcome can't be known or determined in advance

Required evidence

Your records must show that a competent professional in the field couldn't know or determine the outcome of your activity in advance on the basis of current knowledge, information and experience. This means that you need to conduct an experiment to verify your concept. We expect you to search worldwide for an existing way to achieve your outcome before you start your R&D activity.


  • Business case
  • Contracts or research arrangements
  • Emails
  • Experimental protocols or test plans
  • Letters or reports from a competent professional or expert
  • Patent and other searches
  • Technology reviews
  • Journal articles
  • Project approvals or meeting minutes
  • Project plans
  • Prototypes
  • Records of trial runs
  • Reports of test results and analysis
  • Records of regulatory approvals

Systematic progression of work

Required evidence

Your records must show that you conduct or plan to conduct all the elements of a systematic progression of work. These include:

  • Hypothesis
  • Experiment
  • Observation
  • Evaluation
  • Logical conclusions


  • Contracts or research agreements
  • Email correspondence
  • Enterprise management system records
  • Experimental and research plans that pre-date your activities
  • Laboratory notebooks
  • Photographs and videos
  • Process diagrams
  • Progress reports
  • Project plans
  • Prototypes
  • Records of trial runs
  • Test reports that show results and analysis of experiments

Read more about how a systematic progression of work is part of conducting eligible R&D activities for the R&D Tax Incentive.

Generating new knowledge

Required evidence

Your records show that your substantial purpose for carrying out your R&D is to generate new knowledge at the time you start your activities.


  • Annual reports
  • ASX announcements
  • Board minutes
  • Contracts
  • Email correspondence
  • Project plans

Supporting R&D activities

Required evidence

Your records need to establish a direct relationship between your supporting activity and at least one core R&D activity. In some cases the dominant purpose of the supporting activity must be to support a core activity.


  • Annual financial reports
  • Business plans that describe your supporting R&D activities
  • Plans that pre-date the start of your supporting R&D activities
  • Prior year claims
  • Technical project documents

Additional guidance material on record keeping for compliance readiness has been provided.

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