Cochlear boss says tax incentive cuts could send R&D overseas

Image: Nic Walker

Cochlear’s chairman Rick Holliday-Smith has said federal savings measures targeting R&D tax incentives could see the company move research activities a out of Australia.

AAP reports that the hearing implants manufacturer – which recorded a record $189 million full-year profit in August – spent 12 per cent of its sales revenue on R&D, mostly in Australia.

Holliday-Smith said that the company risked $10 million in lost benefits from measures including in the omnibus bill, and that many other countries were taking steps to encourage R&D.

“There may be little or no apparent impact from changes to taxation policy in the first year, but over time we may see the loss of an increasing amount of research investments to overseas jurisdictions,” The Australian reports him as saying at the firm’s annual general meeting.

“Cochlear will continue to vigorously promote the maintenance of a globally competitive R&D tax concession regime in Australia.”

Cochlear’s revenues are 95 per cent from overseas sale, though pays 75 per cent of its taxes here.

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