Last Friday, submissions for feedback on the proposed R&D tax credits were due. For several years NZTech has been encouraging the introduction of some form of R&D tax credit system. However this is in the context of being an additional method of stimulating R&D and not as a complete replacement to growth grants. Unfortunately, the proposed solution will create a situation where previous recipients of growth grants will receive less when transitioned to tax credits. Additionally, for several years, NZTech has been encouraging a review of how R&D is defined, particularly with respect to software development and high growth technology firms. The impact of the proposed system on startups was detailed by Nat Torkington last week (read here) and again by Toby Littin in another article (read here).
As a result, NZTech has placed a submission recommending that the consultation process also provides the opportunity for the Government to undertake a full review of R&D incentives on software, startups and high growth hi-tech firms. We will continue to raise these issues and will keep you posted.
Last week, Minister Curran announced an accelerated timetable to rollout rural broadband to help close the digital divide. Its aim is to ensure everyone can benefit from the jobs and access that a digital future brings, regardless of what part of New Zealand they live in. The Minister also announced that she was travelling to Singapore this week to attend an international conference on building a digital economy and digital transformation with Ministers and high level government officials from around the world. Let’s hope she brings back a few good ideas from other countries to share with her new Chief technology Officer who should be in place by July.
This week, I will be in Auckland attending the Techweek’18 debrief, an AI Forum event, the monthly Digital Skills Forum meeting, the quarterly Economic Development Agencies tech strategy meeting and weather permitting, my eight year old daughter’s cross country event.
Have a great week.