“Institutional Aspects of R&D Incentives” Study Released (1995)

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“Institutional Aspects of R&D Incentives” Study Released (1995)

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. 

Institutional Aspects of R&D Incentives

In April 1995, G. Bruce Doern, under contract to Industry Canada, published a paper detailing the historical and instutional aspects of the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) R&D incentives.  Within his paper, a copy of which can be requested here or viewed online here, Mr. Doern discusses the historical changes that affected the SR&ED program and further details economic and legal aspects of SR&ED.  The main focus of the paper is “the policy mandates of organizational cultures in and relationships among: Revenue Canada, the Department of Finance, Industry Canada and other relevant institutions and players such as the courts, research and development interest groups, key companies and the accounting and legal professions”.1

Who Was Interviewed Regarding SR&ED?

This paper assesses the institutional evolution of the federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit. The analysis is based on published reports and literature as well as on several interviews conducted by the author with officials and experts involved in government and business in the forging and implementation of SR&ED.

Topics Covered in the Paper: Key SR&ED Stakeholders and Their Mandates

The author covers various discussion points within his paper.  He presents the framework for analyzing incentives and then details the various departments and players involved in the SR&ED program as well as their individual mandates.  A section then provides the historical background of the SR&ED program from its inception in 1986, the amendments in 1992 and the on-going changes detailed within the CRA guidelines and circulars. Mr. Doern then focuses on the administrative process from the point of view of both the submitting individual and the CRA reviewers, including the appeals and redress process.

Finally, Mr. Doern compares the current SR&ED program to the following:

  • “the Australian model of an independent board and the related potential for different organizational locales in Canada such as having the program based in a fiscal ministerial portfolio or a micro-economic research and development ministerial portfolio;
  • other realms of Canadian micro-economic or business policy implementation; and
  • other taxpayers in Canada.”2
The final conclusions of the paper focus on how the overall interplay of institutions affects the SR&ED program and sets limits on future reform options.

(1, 2) Source:  Institutional Aspects of R&D Incentives: The Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Credit, by G. Bruce Doern, School of Public Administration, Carleton University, under contract to Industry Canada, April 1995


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