The built environment is the human-made surroundings where people gather to live, work and play. It is a material, spatial and cultural product of human labour and imagination.

Read our guides and watch videos that show which built environment-related activities are eligible under the R&DTI.


A built environment company conducts experiments to iron out technical problems with a block of its new enviro toilet.

Built environment and the R&D Tax Incentive

Read hypothetical examples of how companies in the built environment industry conduct experimental activities and how they self-assess their activities against the eligibility criteria for the R&DTI.

Read examples of core and supporting research and development (R&D) activities, overseas activities and an ineligible activity.

Built Environment and the R&D Tax Incentive

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Getting building and construction R&D tax incentive claims right

Find out what companies and tax advisers need to consider when they self-assess the eligibility of built environment activities under the R&DTI. Read some of the common errors businesses make in built environment registrations.

Getting building and construction R&D Tax Incentive claims right

pdf · 0.22 MB docx · 0.11 MB

Taxpayer alert

The R&D Tax Incentive is administered by us and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). We share information about registrations and claims to ensure program compliance.

We prepare taxpayer alerts to provide a summary of the concerns about new or emerging higher risk tax arrangements or issues. The following taxpayer alert is specific to the R&D Tax Incentive.

Following the Full Federal Court decision in Moreton Resources Limited v Innovation and Science Australia [2019] FCAFC 120, we have updated how we assess whether an activity was conducted for the purpose of generating new knowledge.

Therefore, the taxpayer alert should be read with the following information in mind:

  • Activities involving the application of existing technology in a different context or location are capable of meeting the definition of ‘core R&D activities’. This will depend on the circumstances of the individual case, and whether all of the legislative requirements for ‘core R&D activities’ are met.
  • Activities where the outcome could be known or determined in advance may still have been conducted for the purpose of generating new knowledge. However, activities need to meet both of these legislative requirements to be ‘core R&D activities’.

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