CRA Updates to the SR&ED Self-Assessment and Learning Tool [2016-05-18]
In 2014, we reported that the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) revealed their new Self-Assessment and Learning Tool (SALT) to assist claimants in filing for tax assistance under the Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) program. It is described as follows on their website:
The Self-Assessment and Learning Tool (SALT) was developed to help claimants learn about the eligibility requirements of the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program.
SALT is designed to help you:
- understand the definition of SR&ED;
- understand the requirements for the eligibility of work;
- determine if your company project might include SR&ED work;
- determine the extent of eligible work that you may have performed; and
- estimate the associated SR&ED expenditures and your Investment Tax Credits (ITC).
The tool is divided into two standalone interactive PDF files. To use these files, please download them on your computer. No information will be transferred to the CRA through this tool.
SALT Step 1 (PDF, 203 KB) will help you understand the eligibility requirements for SR&ED work and help you determine if your company project might include SR&ED work. The report generated at the end of this step will help you understand why your work is potentially eligible (or not) for the SR&ED Program. The information in your report can then be used to prepare your SR&ED claim.
SALT Step 2 (PDF, 175 KB) will help you identify the extent of eligible work performed during the course of your project. This step will also help you estimate allowable expenditures associated with your work and the potentially claimable ITC.
There have been several changes to the program and refinements to the policies since it was first released; consequently, in May 2016, the CRA announced that the SALT “has been updated to accommodate the legislative changes resulting from the federal 2012 budget and the changes made to the Eligibility of Work for SR&ED Investment Tax Credits Policy“:
Changes to the SR&ED Self-Assessment and Learning Tool
Reasons for revision
This update reflects changes to the Eligibility of Work for SR&ED Investment Tax Credits Policy and legislative changes.
- Updated according to the April 2015 version of the Eligibility of Work for SR&ED Investment Tax Credits Policy.
- Following legislative changes resulting from the federal 2012 budget, capital expenditures for SR&ED are no longer allowed.
- Provincial tax credit rates have been updated.
The SALT is a useful tool to help first-time users get an estimate on what they could gain from the program. Although, as we’ve mentioned before, it is important to remember that it only provides estimates that should be taken at face value. The new update should help claimants wade through the waves created by the major changes that have taken place in the last few years and ensure they are getting the most of the program.