The Scientific Research and Experimental Development or SR&ED tax credit program was created to encourage Canadian companies to do R&D in the country. The program is the single greatest source of government-funded R&D funding.
Participants receive tax incentives and refunds for qualified activities that strive to improve science or technology through testing or analysis. Over 16,000 claimants get over $3 billion in tax incentives each year under the SR&ED program. Small firms account for 75% of them.
If your company conducts research and development in Canada, you may be eligible for considerable tax returns from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on all SR&ED qualified costs, such as salaries, subcontractor fees, and consumables.
The success of a company’s endeavors is not used to determine incentives. Instead, tax breaks and cash incentives are being offered to encourage Canadians to innovate. These reimbursements are critical in assisting enterprises with long-term financial planning and cash flow management, as well as supporting R&D operations.
Who is Eligible for SR&ED Credits?
The question of SR&ED eligibility is regularly addressed. There is a great deal of ambiguity, especially in the areas of qualifying/eligible work and qualifying expenditures. In our eligibility guide, we go through this topic in great detail.
The following are the important requirements to consider while assessing SR&ED eligibility:
Salary, subcontractor, and/or material expenses must be linked to the work being claimed.
Work must be qualifying SR&ED work / SR&ED projects to be claimed.
A minimum of 90% of the work claimed must have been completed in Canada.
Salary and subcontractor expenditures must be paid to a SIN or BN-registered Canadian entity.
The claimed expenses must have occurred within the last 18 months of the fiscal year-end being submitted.
What Work Qualifies for SR&ED?
According to the CRA’s official definition, work must have been conducted through a “systematic investigation or search.”
Small businesses may not comprehend how the “scientific process” or “proving a hypothesis” applies to their job, thus this simple technique for analysing the SR&ED criteria is intended to remove any impediments. The CRA’s new regulation uses clearer wording to help firms determine whether they qualify. It’s worth noting that the T661 form, which many expected to change, hasn’t changed.
What does this imply for applicants?
While this new approach makes the SR&ED credit more accessible to small firms, it does require applicants to adapt the way they submit project descriptions. You should concentrate on clearly explaining why the task was completed, as well as providing insight into the field’s constraints. You must demonstrate that current technologies or approaches failed to solve your problem.
The work process should be described in such a way that it fits within the CRA’s definition of systematic investigation, demonstrating that your organization has a well-thought-out strategy. A common blunder is for applicants to focus on what was done rather than how and why it was performed.