Once your SR&ED claim is filed (within 18 months of the corporation’s year-end…..NO exceptions), CRA processes it. The initial review is a computer-assisted one that assigns a risk assessment score based on the wording and financial info provided. That will determine if a further review will take place. A further review might be someone at the Taxation Centre looking at it and deciding that the answer to the flagged concern is obvious, or it may be referred to a District Taxation Office for review by field agents.
The technical side of the claim is subject to review by a Research and Technology Advisor, known as an RTA. The financial part of the claim is reviewable by a Financial Reviewer, or FR. Often the review will be a co-ordinated review which means they both show up at the claimant’s place of business to make comments and ask questions. Sometimes one of these reviewers will also bring their supervisor, and it can happen that both supervisors attend. If a supervisor attends the site meeting, that is usually predictive of a denial of the claim.
A first-time claimant will often receive a visit under CRA’s FTCAS service. FTCAS is First Time Claimant Advisory Service. This is usually mainly educational: the claimant learns more about the SR&ED program and the reviewers learn more about the ongoing operations of the claimant. An FTCAS visit normally means that the claim has been approved already.
CRA reviewers tend to be cordial and even quite friendly. Friendliness is not to be interpreted as favor. They know it’s not a bad idea to pet the cow when you milk her!
Make your S&ED claim go as smoothly as possible. Talk to us about how we can help.