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Australia: R&D activities, underground coal gasification pilot facility (appellate court decision)

Australia: R&D activities, coal gasification

The Full Federal Court on 25 July 2019—in a case concerning research and development (R&D) activities—allowed an appeal filed by the taxpayer and remanded (remitted) the case back to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.


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The case is: Moreton Resources Ltd. v. Innovation and Science Australia [2019] FCAFC 120

The case concerned whether activities undertaken in relation to an underground coal gasification pilot facility were core or were supporting R&D activities. The Full Federal Court concluded that the tribunal erred in its narrow construction of “core R&D activities” and, in doing so, had implicitly rejected the taxpayer’s alternative submission that if the activities were not core, they were nonetheless “supporting R&D activities” because they were directly related to core R&D activities registered during an earlier income year.

KPMG observation

The decision is being viewed as a welcome development for taxpayers, because the Full Federal Court held that the tribunal’s narrow construction of “core R&D activities” was erroneous.

Read a July 2019 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Australia 

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