How To

How To Get Updates On Your SR&ED Application (And What Not To Do)

 

Talking with the CRA about your SR&ED application can be frustrating!
Talking with the CRA about your SR&ED application can be frustrating!

With the 2018 tax season upon us many people will be hoping to reach someone (anyone!) at CRA to discuss their personal and corporate returns. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that the agency has corrected its long-standing issues of understaffed call centres. Some people will remember last year’s scandal when it surfaced that the CRA was actually hanging up on people because wait times were too long! In fact, between March 2016 and March 2017, the CRA only picked up a third of the calls directed to its phone line. 1

If your question cannot be answered via the CRA’s online features or from automated telephone responses, businesses and self-employed individuals with tax questions are advised to contact their local tax office.

That said, SR&ED is unique and the frontline CRA staff are not experts in this program. Generally speaking, they will not be able to advise you regarding the status of your file. As one unfortunate intern found out, this can be very frustrating:

Summary of calls to CRA:

  1. Jan 8/19 – 28 individual calls before connected with an agent. The call took 25 minutes
  2. Jan 29/19 – 2:20 Hours – Initial call: 35 mins. Second call: 51 min
  3. Jan 30/19 – 2:00 hours – Hung up after 2:00 hours of waiting for a senior advisor.
  4. Jan 31*19 – 16 minutes
    Total calls to CRA – 5h01 plus multiple dials to speak with an agent = Estimated 6 hours.

In six hours you could binge watch 12 full episodes of the Office, watch two NHL games or speed walk a marathon. You could balance your budget, meal prep for the next month, or even reorganize your digital office files to ensure all your SR&ED required documentation is easily accessible.

Instead, we encourage anyone looking for an update on the status of their SR&ED ITC application to contact the correct SR&ED office directly. For your convenience, we have curated the following list:

ProvinceCity or Region
(if applicable)
OfficeMailing AddressPhone/FaxHours
AlbertaAll regionsFraser Valley and Interior Tax Services Office9755 King George Blvd,
Surrey, British Columbia V3T 5E1
Tel: 1-866-578-4538
Fax: 418-556-1825
Monday-Friday - 8 am to 4 pm (local time)
Saturday and Sunday - Closed
British ColumbiaAll regionsFraser Valley and Interior Tax Services Office9755 King George Blvd,
Surrey, British Columbia V3T 5E1
Tel: 1-866-578-4538
Fax: 418-556-1825
Monday-Friday - 8 am to 4 pm (local time)
Saturday and Sunday - Closed
ManitobaAll regionsFraser Valley and Interior Tax Services Office9755 King George Blvd,
Surrey, British Columbia V3T 5E1
Tel: 1-866-578-4538
Fax: 418-556-1825
Monday-Friday - 8 am to 4 pm (local time)
Saturday and Sunday - Closed
New BrunswickAll regionsNova Scotia Tax Services Office
100 - 145 Hobsons Lake Drive
PO Box 638
Halifax, NS B3J 2T5
Tel: 1-866-433-5986
Fax: 418-556-1825
Monday-Friday - 8 am to 5 pm (local time)
Saturday and Sunday - Closed
Newfoundland and LabradorAll regionsNova Scotia Tax Services Office
100 - 145 Hobsons Lake Drive
PO Box 638
Halifax, NS B3J 2T5
Tel: 1-866-433-5986
Fax: 418-556-1825
Monday-Friday - 8 am to 5 pm (local time)
Saturday and Sunday - Closed
Northwest TerritoriesAll regionsFraser Valley and Interior Tax Services Office9755 King George Blvd,
Surrey, British Columbia V3T 5E1
Tel: 1-866-578-4538
Fax: 418-556-1825
Monday-Friday - 8 am to 4 pm (local time)
Saturday and Sunday - Closed
Nova ScotiaAll regionsNova Scotia Tax Services Office
100 - 145 Hobsons Lake Drive
PO Box 638
Halifax, NS B3J 2T5
Tel: 1-866-433-5986
Fax: 418-556-1825
Monday-Friday - 8 am to 5 pm (local time)
Saturday and Sunday - Closed
NunavutAll regionsNorthern Ontario Tax Services Office5001 Yonge Street
North York, ON M2N 6R9
Tel: 1-833-446-0934
Fax: 418-556-1825
Monday-Friday - 7:30 am to 5 pm (local time)
Saturday and Sunday - Closed
OntarioAll regionsNorthern Ontario Tax Services Office5001 Yonge Street
North York, ON M2N 6R9
Tel: 1-833-446-0934
Fax: 418-556-1825
Monday-Friday - 7:30 am to 5 pm (local time)
Saturday and Sunday - Closed
PEIAll regionsNova Scotia Tax Services Office
100 - 145 Hobsons Lake Drive
PO Box 638
Halifax, NS B3J 2T5
Tel: 1-866-433-5986
Fax: 418-556-1825
Monday-Friday - 8 am to 5 pm (local time)
Saturday and Sunday - Closed
QuebecAll regionsWestern Quebec Tax Services Office3400 Jean Béraud Ave
Laval, QC H7T 2Z2
Tel: 1-888-784-8709
Fax: 418-556-1825
Monday-Friday - 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (local time)
Saturday and Sunday - Closed
SaskatchewanAll regionsFraser Valley and Interior Tax Services Office9755 King George Blvd,
Surrey, British Columbia V3T 5E1
Tel: 1-866-578-4538
Fax: 418-556-1825
Monday-Friday - 8 am to 4 pm (local time)
Saturday and Sunday - Closed
YukonAll regionsFraser Valley and Interior Tax Services Office9755 King George Blvd,
Surrey, British Columbia V3T 5E1
Tel: 1-866-578-4538
Fax: 418-556-1825
Monday-Friday - 8 am to 4 pm (local time)
Saturday and Sunday - Closed

Q: I’m still frustrated. What can I do? A: As a taxpayer, you have a right to timely updates. If you are not happy with the service you have received from the CRA the best thing you can register a complaint. With enough people shedding light on this issue, the speed at which responses are received will improve.

Do you have a similar story of being held telephone hostage by the CRA?
** Note: In 2020, the CRA updated the term “Ombudsman” to “Ombudsperson”. ** 

Show 1 footnote

  1. Erica Alini. Global News. (April 6, 2018.) The CRA hasn’t fixed its call centre issue. Retrieved February 21, 2019, from: https://globalnews.ca/news/4128346/cra-call-centre-wait-times/

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