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/Fax
AlbertaAll regionsCalgary SR&ED Tax Services Office#125, 220-4th Ave South East
Calgary, AB T2G 0L1
Tel: 1-587-475-3030
Fax: 1-403-292-5751
British ColumbiaAll regionsFraser Valley & Norther Tax Services Office9737 King George Boulevard,
Surrey, British Columbia V3T 5W6
Tel: 1-866-317-0473
Fax: 604-586-2441
ManitobaAll regionsCalgary SR&ED Tax Services Office#125, 220-4th Ave South East
Calgary, AB T2G 0L1
Tel: 1-587-475-3030
Fax: 1-403-292-5751
New BrunswickAll regionsNova Scotia SR&ED Tax Services Office100 - 145 Hobsons Lake Drive
PO Box 638
Halifax, NS B3J 2T5
Tel: 1-866-433-5986
Fax: 1-902-426-8932
NewfoundlandAll regionsNova Scotia SR&ED Tax Services Office100 - 145 Hobsons Lake Drive
PO Box 638
Halifax, NS B3J 2T5
Tel: 1-866-433-5986
Fax: 1-902-426-8932
Northwest TerritoriesAll regionsCalgary SR&ED Tax Services Office#125, 220-4th Ave South East
Calgary, AB T2G 0L1
Tel: 1-587-475-3030
Fax: 1-403-292-5751
Nova ScotiaAll regionsNova Scotia SR&ED Tax Services Office100 - 145 Hobsons Lake Drive
PO Box 638
Halifax, NS B3J 2T5
Tel: 1-866-433-5986
Fax: 1-902-426-8932
NunavutAll regionsToronto SR&ED Tax Services Office1 Front Street W
Suite 100
Toronto, ON M5J 2X6
Tel: 1-416-973-1717
Fax: 1-416-952-8334
OntarioOttawaToronto SR&ED Tax Services Office1 Front Street W
Suite 100
Toronto, ON M5J 2X6
Tel: 1-416-973-1717
Fax: 1-416-952-8334
OntarioEast CentralToronto SR&ED Tax Services Office1 Front Street W
Suite 100
Toronto, ON M5J 2X6
Tel: 1-416-973-1717
Fax: 1-416-952-8334
OntarioNorthern OntarioToronto SR&ED Tax Services Office1 Front Street W
Suite 100
Toronto, ON M5J 2X6
Tel: 1-416-973-1717
Fax: 1-416-952-8334
OntarioToronto CentreToronto SR&ED Tax Services Office1 Front Street W
Suite 100
Toronto, ON M5J 2X6
Tel: 1-416-973-1717
Fax: 1-416-952-8334
OntarioToronto EastToronto SR&ED Tax Services Office1 Front Street W
Suite 100
Toronto, ON M5J 2X6
Tel: 1-416-973-1717
Fax: 1-416-952-8334
OntarioToronto NorthToronto SR&ED Tax Services Office1 Front Street W
Suite 100
Toronto, ON M5J 2X6
Tel: 1-416-973-1717
Fax: 1-416-952-8334
OntarioHamiltonMississauga SR&ED Tax Services Office5800 Hurontario Street
Mississauga, ON L5R 4B4
Tel: 1-905-566-6010
Fax: 1-905-566-6154
OntarioKitchener-WaterlooMississauga SR&ED Tax Services Office5800 Hurontario Street
Mississauga, ON L5R 4B4
Tel: 1-905-566-6010
Fax: 1-905-566-6154
OntarioLondonMississauga SR&ED Tax Services Office5800 Hurontario Street
Mississauga, ON L5R 4B4
Tel: 1-905-566-6010
Fax: 1-905-566-6154
OntarioMississaugaMississauga SR&ED Tax Services Office5800 Hurontario Street
Mississauga, ON L5R 4B4
Tel: 1-905-566-6010
Fax: 1-905-566-6154
OntarioSt. CatharinesMississauga SR&ED Tax Services Office5800 Hurontario Street
Mississauga, ON L5R 4B4
Tel: 1-905-566-6010
Fax: 1-905-566-6154
OntarioThunder BayMississauga SR&ED Tax Services Office5800 Hurontario Street
Mississauga, ON L5R 4B4
Tel: 1-905-566-6010
Fax: 1-905-566-6154
OntarioWindsorMississauga SR&ED Tax Services Office5800 Hurontario Street
Mississauga, ON L5R 4B4
Tel: 1-905-566-6010
Fax: 1-905-566-6154
PEIAll regionsNova Scotia SR&ED Tax Services Office100 - 145 Hobsons Lake Drive
PO Box 638
Halifax, NS B3J 2T5
Tel: 1-866-433-5986
Fax: 1-902-426-8932
QuebecAll regionsWestern Quebec SR&ED Tax Services Office3400 Jean Béraud Ave
Laval, QC H7T 2Z2
Tel: 1-888-784-8709
Fax: 514-338-4584
SaskatchewanAll regionsCalgary SR&ED Tax Services Office#125, 220-4th Ave South East
Calgary, AB T2G 0L1
Tel: 1-587-475-3030
Fax: 1-403-292-5751
YukonAll regionsFraser Valley & Norther Tax Services Office9737 King George Boulevard,
Surrey, British Columbia V3T 5W6
Tel: 1-866-317-0473
Fax: 604-586-2441

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? 
Share your feedback by commenting below, or adding to the conversation on our LinkedIn group, Facebook page or Twitter.
Want more, comprehensive information about the SR&ED tax credit program?
Sign up for The Comprehensive Guide to SR&ED today! 

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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