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Eligible SR&ED Costs

The in-person review of your SRED claim involves determining whether you did eligible work, and then if it is decided that you did, a reviewer makes a decision as to what it cost, i.e.: what expenditure amounts are eligible.

The determination of the eligibility of the work done relies upon the 5 questions addressed in our series of posts on SR&ED eligibility.

Quantifying your claim also involves reviewing the costs associated with eligible work: engineering, design, operations research, mathematical analysis, computer programming, data collection, testing, and psychological research.  This doesn’t mean that everything you spend on these are eligible SR&ED costs. The costs have to have been incurred to do the research or experimental development that comprises the project. If the expense was incurred for a reason other than to aid in resolving the technological uncertainties of the project or to obtain technological advancement, it is not claimable as part of that project.

Certain types of work are specifically excluded: market research or sales promotion, quality control or routine testing, research in the humanities or social sciences (excepting psychological research);  exploring for minerals or petro-chemicals (but developing tools for these activities can be eligible), commercial production, style changes, and routine data collection.

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Related Information

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Sometimes a company will have project work done in another province than the one in which it is situated. If that is your company, make sure that any SRED claim is filed for the province in which the work was done.

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SR&ED Claim Reviews

What is the likelihood of changing a CRA reviewer’s mind after they have made a proposal about your claim?  We have seen such a change occur, more than once, but such a result is a minority outcome.

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