Form: Advance / Overseas Finding Application


This form can be used to apply for:

  • An advance finding about the eligibility of research and development (R&D) activities before it is possible to register those activities. An advance finding can be sought in relation to activities conducted in the income year an application is made, and/or the subsequent two income years.
  • An overseas finding on the eligibility of overseas R&D activities.

An advance finding is not a pre-condition of registration nor does it replace registration. Companies will still be required to register their activities at the end of each income year that the activities were conducted.

You must submit an application for an Advance/Overseas Finding before the end of the income year in which the activities were conducted. There is no provision under the Industry Research and Development Act 1986 for accepting overseas finding applications received after the statutory deadline. Innovation Australia has no discretion for accepting a late application.

Please note, there may be some system delays experienced when navigating within the form, particularly when applying for a large number of R&D Activities.

While we protect the security of your Advance / Overseas Finding Application, we also recommend you are careful to maintain the security of your form by taking precautions to protect the emailed link, provided when you save the form and only provide the Tracking Code to people authorised by you to complete the form on your behalf.

Advanced and Overseas Findings & COVID-19

Acknowledging the effects of COVID-19 on Australian businesses, we will accept a 'provisional' advance or overseas finding applications for the 1 July 2019 - 30 June 2020 income year, due by 30 June 2020.

A provisional Advance or Overseas Finding application requires you to submit an Advance or Overseas Finding application smart-form by 30 June 2020 with the minimal detail outlined below, on the basis that the further information required to assess the application will be provided to us by 30 September 2020.

The minimum details required in a provisional Advance or Overseas Finding application are:

  • Company contact details
  • Descriptive name/title of claimed R&D activities

Companies that submit a provisional advance or overseas finding application on or before 30 June 2020 will be considered to have lodged their application for the activities it includes by 30 June 2020.

For more information on a provisional Advance and Overseas Finding, please click here.


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The R&D Tax Incentive provides tax benefits for expenditure on eligible R&D activities. Please note that eligibility is determined at the activity level and not at the project level. Not every activity in a project becomes eligible simply because some activities are R&D activities.

The questions in this form aim to obtain specific details about activities that will be assessed during the Finding. The assessment pays close attention to the requirements, tests and conditions in the legislation and considers relevant principles from previous decisions, including those arising from Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) cases.

The questions are also intended to guide Applicants to provide sufficient detail in support of their claim and prompt them to:

  • Identify the problem and the new knowledge needed to solve it
  • Describe the experimental activities to be undertaken
  • Explain why an experiment is the only way to obtain the new knowledge
  • Describe other activities that will directly and relatively immediately support the experimental activities.

For more information about Findings, please review the documents about Findings that can be found under Key documents on the page.


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AusIndustry: R&D Tax Incentive Programme

Getting help

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If you require assistance completing this form, please contact the R&D Tax Incentive Team via the AusIndustry Hotline on 13 28 46 or email