Government drives $2 billion of business research and development

The Government’s Research and Development Tax Incentive has supported more than $2 billion of New Zealand business innovation – an increase of around $1 billion in less than nine months.

"Research and innovation are essential in helping us meet the biggest challenges and seize opportunities facing New Zealand. It’s fantastic to see the Research and Development Tax Incentive uptake growing steadily as our businesses invest in the research and development needed to fuel innovation and boost our economy," says Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall.

Introduced in the 2019/2020 tax year, the Research and Development Tax Incentive provides a 15 per cent tax credit for businesses performing eligible research and development activities in New Zealand.

To date, this Government has provided in excess of $312 million tax credits through the scheme.

"Business expenditure on research and development makes up about 60 per cent of national spend, so the Research and Development Tax Incentive is a flagship initiative to realise the Government’s goal of raising national research and development expenditure to 2 per cent of gross domestic product.

"We are currently at 1.47 per cent, so there is some way to go. But the increasing uptake of the Research and Development Tax Incentive scheme is a positive sign for the wider research, science and innovation system, which is undergoing its largest reforms in 30 years through the Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways programme.

"As more businesses become aware of the Research and Development Tax Incentive and see the benefits it can provide beyond their bottom line, we can expect business research and development in New Zealand to continue to increase in size, scope and quality.

"To make the scheme more accessible and attractive, we began in-year payments to allow businesses to receive regular payments throughout the year, rather than having to wait for the money to be paid out after the end of the tax year.

"The addition of in-year payments is a world first and enables small businesses and start-ups to better manage their cashflow," said Ayesha Verrall.