Who is eligible?
The most fundamental determination of eligibility is understanding what type of company may participate in the SR&ED program. While program requirements do not restrict participants by industry, some additional consideration may be helpful when preparing claims for some of the less common industry players and company profiles. We will discuss company and industry profiles that have been more successful than others, and will provide helpful tips and recommendations on representing your company appropriately in an SR&ED claim.
What is eligible?
Eligibility criteria and boundaries are commonly misunderstood and misreported, resulting in time and effort intensive CRA reviews. Using terminology from official program definitions, work that involves scientific or technological advancement or scientific or technological uncertainty may qualify, however, consideration must also be given to several other factors including source jurisdictions, experimental development components, applied research, and support functions. We will simplify these eligibility components to enable you to identify areas of potential recovery within your company.
Are there deadlines or other dates of importance?
An SR&ED claim must be filed within 18 months of an organization’s fiscal year-end, however, there may be an opportunity to also file a claim for the previous year to capture additional eligible amounts. We will discuss these deadlines and help you to ensure your company is taking full advantage of program timelines and opportunities.
What evidence do I need to compile, report, and store?
Not only are you compiling data associated with eligible activities and disbursements for the previous fiscal period, also required is the detailed collection of appropriate evidence related to those items. The collection and assembly of this evidence is critical for the preparation of the SR&ED claim, but also in the event CRA initiates a review. We will discuss the evidence you will need to collect, compile, and store to support your SR&ED claim.
What is involved in preparing the claim?
An SR&ED claim represents exhaustive data collection and analysis efforts, and more often than not, companies do not have adequate systems in place to facilitate this. Once valid data has been assembled, technical descriptions and other claim information requirements are developed. Collaboration with your accountant may also be necessary. We will discuss how to go about preparing a claim and, more importantly, how to implement mechanisms to make the process easier for future claims.
Will I receive cash back?
Typically, successful SR&ED applicants will receive a return in the form of cash, however, refundable or non-refundable tax credits are other mechanisms of return. There are several factors that are considered in the determination of which return your company would receive. We will discuss these factors and help you determine which return type is most applicable to your specific scenario.
Should I expect a CRA audit?
If your claim represents diligent effort and contains data that appears to be valid and reasonable, you may simply receive notification that your claim has been accepted and is being processed accordingly. If there is any indication of incomplete or questionable details or figures, CRA may request a review. In any event, including CRA randomly selecting your file for review, you will want to ensure that your supporting data is ready for scrutiny. We will discuss the review process and provide helpful tips on how to avoid it all together.
How do I choose the right partner to prepare my SR&ED claim?
Canada's SR&ED program IS NOT a tax program, rather, it is a scientific research and experimental development inventive program. This means that your accountant cannot simply use a calculator to prepare your claim. We will discuss various methods you may use to prepare your claim, including the use of a specialized consultant, like Advance-Tek, who has intimate knowledge of the program and a track record of success helping companies like yours achieve a satisfactory return without any surprises.
How do I forecast an SR&ED return amount?
It's easy to calculate an estimated SR&ED return amount, however, without the individual rigour and scrutiny of claim components against program eligibility criteria, the accuracy of a forecast cannot be guaranteed. We will discuss methods of SR&ED return calculation along with factors that commonly contribute to inaccuracy.