RSM Australia

Our People

Stephen Carroll
Partner - Perth

Office : Perth

Stephen Carroll is a Director of the Tax Services division in Perth providing specialist research and development (R&D) tax incentive and innovation consulting services. Stephen commenced his career in 1999 and has provided advice across Australia to a diverse range of industries, from start-up innovators to large multinational corporations.

Stephen joined and was admitted into the RSM partnership in 2012. Prior to joining RSM, Stephen worked in a boutique engineering business and was a director at KPMG.

Stephen Carroll is a Partner of RSM Australia Partners and a Director or RSM Australia Pty Ltd.

Solutions Stephen carroll provides

Stephen is responsible for the R&D tax incentive advisory services for RSM. He has experience in all aspects of the R&D claims process:

  • educating clients on the R&D eligibility criteria, both technical and financial
  • running workshops and project interviews to gather appropriate information to assess, prepare and defend R&D tax claims
  • preparing appropriate R&D registration documentation
  • allocation of R&D costs
  • conducting reviews and audits for clients with AusIndustry and the ATO
  • advising and implementing R&D management practices

Significant projects

Major projects Stephen has been responsible for include:

  • 100% successful outcome when assisting a software development company with an AusIndustry 39L audit of a project spanning seven years
  • Taking clients with R&D history and significantly growing R&D claims by providing a more thorough and detailed approach than previous R&D advisers
  •  Working on thought leadership publications for the new R&D tax incentive

Innovation consulting

Stephen has had significant input and roles within the innovation community and provides expert advice in project evaluation and selection.

His experience includes:

  • Committee member and judge for the WA Innovator of the Year Award Program since 2008
  • Chairman of the RSM National Innovation Committee
  • Mentor for Founders Institute
  • Presenter and panellist for Ignition since 2011
  • Run advisory sessions for the WA Innovation Centre
  • Run workshop, judging sessions and panels for Innovation Pitch events
  • Supporter of Asia Pacific OzApp awards
  • Unearthed Accelerator mentor
  • Chairman of the National LESANZ 2014 Conference 

Professional associations

  • Committee member, WA Licensing Executive Society (Australia and New Zealand)
  • 2010, 2011 & 2012 Organising Committee, WA State Government Innovator of the Year program


  • Master of Accounting (Curtin University)
  • Bachelor of Science - Mathematics and Computing (Curtin University)
News articles

Highlights from the 2019 LESANZ 'Best in the West' Pitch night

26 February 2019
Change, in a nutshell. This is the easiest way to describe all those buzzwords we keep hearing in the start-up space. Change is important for lots of reasons, not least of which is to create something new for the economic benefit of our country. It is why the government backs research and development, it is why entrepreneurship and innovation ar...

Proposed R&D tax changes don't stand up to Senate scrutiny

14 February 2019
The Senate’s Economics Legislation Committee report was tabled on Monday 11 February and in its collective wisdom, the committee has put on hold proposed changes to the research and development (R&D) tax incentive. The incentive, imperative to the livelihood of the Australian innovation industry, was threatened with a raft of changes follo...

R&D Tax Incentive Reform - Call for submissions

4 July 2018
R&D tax reforms, as announced in the 2018-19 Federal Budget, are steps closer to implementation with the Treasurer and Minister for Jobs and Innovation releasing draft legislation proposed to enact the changes.  The Government is seeking feedback on the draft legislation. The consultation process is imperative to ensure effective implem...

Budget falters on R&D tax (and how this impacts startups)

24 May 2018
It’s the third budget handed down by Treasurer Scott Morrison and for those of us in the innovation space, a whole lot to digest. After poring over the detail, I’ve created a summary of notable items for your reading pleasure (disclaimer: it’s not all pleasant). Slow death for Australian Innovation? The familiar catch cry, ‘innova...

R&D tax due diligence important for SMSF investors

3 May 2018
With the leading businesses in the world now being technology and intellectual property-based rather than physical asset-based businesses, investors are looking more proactively for early-stage companies that have similar characteristics. Investors scratching the surface of Australia’s innovation ecosystem looking for investment opportunities ...

ATO alert sparks concern for software development R&D Tax Incentives (TA2017/5)

24 February 2017
The recent alert issued by the ATO (TA2017/5), has raised some fears and concerns among innovators in established technology firms  as well as the start-up community.   The concern is that AusIndustry and the ATO are out to get companies that claim the R&D Tax Incentive for software related activities or that AusIndustry and the ...

Budgeting for Innovation

4 November 2016
Many businesses use innovation to grow, however the challenge and failure of many companies that carry out innovation projects is to inadequately budget for the innovation.  This failure is normally not because the company does not undertake a budgeting process, it is primarily because the company does not incorporate the full cost of innov...

1.5% Cuts to the R&D Tax Incentive in the Omnibus Bill

21 September 2016
The Omnibus Bill passed by parliament has cut the rates available under the Refundable and Non-Refundable R&D Tax Offsets by 1.5% for the first $100m of eligible expenditure. The refundable R&D tax offset rate will be reduced from 45 per cent to 43.5 per cent, and non-refundable rate will be reduced from 40 per cent to 38.5 per cent...

R&D's Frequently Asked Questions

27 July 2016
R&D Tax Director Stephen Carroll answers the most frequently asked questions of startups when considering the R&D Tax Incentive. ...

What is the innovation investment tax incentive?

1 July 2016
RSM's R&D Tax Director Stephen Carroll explains the innovation investment tax incentive for Australian businesses and gives examples of early stage innovation businesses who would benefit from the incentive. ...

Innovation Investment Tax Incentive

10 June 2016
On 1 July 2016 the Government’s new tax incentive to support innovation investment will come into effect.  The Tax Laws Amendment (Tax Incentives for Innovation) Bill 2016 was passed earlier this year and is a cornerstone of the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA), released by Prime Minister Turnbull late last year. The NISA was...

Budget 2016 for R&D and Innovation

3 May 2016
The support for innovation in the 2016/17 Budget can be simply summarised as disappointing tinged with relief in a lack of cutbacks. There are only very minor announcements for innovation support through specific focuses, such as $200,000 for FinTech and $2.4 million for Landing Pads in Singapore and Berlin. Given the Government’s continued hy...

R&D tax budget cost method shoehorned to justify cutbacks

13 April 2016
The massive hit to forward estimates, created by a gross over-estimation of budget costs associated with the R&D tax incentive programme, could have easily been avoided had a more appropriate costings method been applied. This technical oversight is in addition to the cost over-statement previously identified by a number of accounting firms...

R&D case strengthens definition of a core activity

12 February 2016
JLSP and Innovation Australia [2016] AATA 23 In a decision published on 22 January 2016, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has found that an Australian-based company that is a subsidiary of a multinational biopharmaceutical research group was conducting a Core R&D activity when it ran a clinical trial to determine the safety and effi...

A review of the Innovation Plan – the hits and misses

9 December 2015
The release of the Federal Government’s Innovation Statement through the National Innovation and Science Agenda came on a day that iron ore and oil prices continued to drop.  The Australian economy desperately needs strong leadership to help it transform and Primer Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s first major policy release was critical to demo...

National Innovation and Science Agenda

12 September 2015
A detailed analysis of what you need to know about Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's highly anticipated $1.1 bn innovation strategy The Federal Government has released its much anticipated Innovation Agenda but what does this mean for business and individuals.  The framework of the government’s innovation policy focuses o...

R&D expenditure - is it really incurred?

7 September 2015
Last week, the full federal court in Commissioner of Taxation v Desalination Technology Pty Ltd [2015] FCAFC 96 overturned the decisions of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the single judge of the federal court in denying the taxpayer a research and development (R&D) deduction for amounts incurred by an associate party on behalf of the t...

RSM’s response to Vision for a Science Nation: Australia's future

2 September 2015
While the R&D Tax Incentive is one of the effective mechanisms for stimulating innovation in Australia, Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competitiveness can be improved by enhancing and developing new incentives to increase Australia’s investment in innovation, according to RSM. In September 2014, Australia’s Chief ...

2015-16 budget for research and development

12 May 2015
There was minimal content in the Budget that will have an impact on Australian innovation. The following are the relevant key Budget announcements: Crowd funding The much anticipated and discussed need to support innovators through crowd sourced equity is being supported with a budget of $7.8m for the Australian Securities and Investment Comm...