Push for patent tax changes to encourage local innovators

Published 10 January 2014 10:05, Updated 13 January 2014 10:01

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Push for patent tax changes to encourage local innovators

Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos has confirmed that the government will consider so-called “patent box” tax rules.

Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos has confirmed that the government will consider so-called “patent box” tax rules to help manufacturers.

A review of research and development this year will consider the rules, which include lower taxes on profits from patents developed in Australia.

Industry body AusBiotech and the Export Council of Australia are finalising a proposal for patent box rules, which they hope to put to the government ahead of the May federal budget.

Patent box rules were recently introduced in Britain, and also apply in ­Ireland, Europe and China, as countries compete for high-value jobs.

Australia already has a 45 per cent tax deduction on research and development, but experts say the missing element is incentives that make it easier to fund the manufacture of new products.

Barry Thomas, the managing director of the Australian arm of US-based Cook Medical, which makes medical devices, has led the push to adopt patent box rules here.

“This started 18 months ago [as] a passion of mine: how do we get Aust­ralian manufacturers to want to manufacture these products here and/or export them?” Thomas says.

Cook says their proposal is still being finalised, but would go further than laws in other countries, which apply a tax rate as low as 10 per cent on profits from intellectual property.

Read the full story in The Australian Financial ReviewPush for tax breaks on patents

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