At SREDucation, we’re taking the time to document all of the changes that have occurred to the SR&ED program over the years. In our “From the Archives” series, you’ll be able to see how the program has evolved since its inception in 1986. For a timeline of these events, check out the SR&ED Tax Credit page on Facebook. Stay current with the program by understanding the historical context.
New Federal SR&ED Services Announced
On April 22, 1997 revenue Minister Jane Stewart unveiled changes to the government services provided for companies who seek SR&ED credits.
The aim was to help companies through the process, and also to reimburse the tax credits quickly, she said in a speech at the Ottawa-Carleton Board of Trade’s luncheon.
Streamlining SR&ED Services
Changes Stewart outlined included:
- A new, simpler application form intended to simplify paperwork;
- Examining projects either before they start, or during the project itself;
- Increasing science offices targeted at SR&ED applicants;
- Forming alliances with industry associations, as well as unspecified “centres of technological expertise”;
- Starting an awareness campaign to teach businesses more about the SR&ED program.
The government planned to complete these changes by 1999. While the streamlining was targeted at business, the government hinted it was seeking taxpayer benefits as well with the changes.
“(Changes) will benefit taxpayers by providing greater certainty, consistency, and timeliness, as well as by reducing administrative burden,” stated a press release.
For companies seeking SR&ED credits, the key is to realize that legislation often takes time to change, but the administration itself varies widely from year-to-year. No matter what new policies are put in place, one of the best preparation tools is to keep a thorough paper trail.
This article is based upon a Government of Canada news release issued at the time: Revenue minister announces improved SR&ED tax credit service (press release).