Guidelines for Resolving SR&ED Claim Concerns

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Guidelines for resolving claimants’ SR&ED concerns

In 2005, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) published a supplemental guide to assist claimants with the SR&ED appeal process in an effort to streamline and speed up the treatment of any concerns brought up by the taxpayer. The Guidelines for resolving claimants’ SR&ED concerns replaced a policy published previously in 2000 and has since been updated, however, what information does it have for claimants?1

SR&ED Stakeholders

The guide details the various stakeholders involved during the appeal process and also defines each one’s roles and responsibilities within the SR&ED claim process.

In this policy, the three main players are the claimant, the research and technology advisor (RTA) and finally, the financial reviewer (FR).

Concerns and Appeals in SR&ED

The guidelines highlight three primary concerns within the SR&ED process:

  1. Concerns regarding the filing requirements
  2. Concerns with a review
  3. Appeals process

The CRA emphasize that “the claimant is encouraged to take the following steps to resolve their concerns, before the file is closed and processed” in the event that the claimant has concerns regarding the technical and/or financial aspects of a review.

The guidelines highlight three steps if a claimant has concerns with a review, which are listed and summarized below:

1. Talk to the RTA or FR

In many instances, issues are due to a misunderstanding or a lack of supporting evidence. Discussing these issues directly with the RTA or FR, usually allows them to be cleared up quickly.

2. Talk to the Research and Technology Manager (RTM) or Financial Review Manager (FRM)

If the concern has not been addressed to the claimant’s satisfaction, the claimant can escalate the matter to the RTM or FRM for a second-level review and possible resolution.

3. Request an administrative second review

This process ensures SR&ED laws and policies are applied within the expected guidelines. This review is usually conducted by the Assistant Director. Regardless of whether the final decision is maintained or reconsidered, the claimant will be advised in a letter from the Assistant Director.

The information regarding the appeals process considers if the claim has been closed and a Notice of Assessment has been sent stating the claim has been maintained (and therefore potentially remains ineligible). In this circumstance, the only option for a claimant is to file an appeal (Notice of Objection) with the CRA within 90 days of the assessment.


What have your experiences been with the CRA? Do you have experience with SR&ED reviews?

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Show 1 footnote

  1. Government of Canada. (May 30, 2016.) Guidelines for resolving claimants’ SR&ED concerns (Accessed: September 5, 2017.) Retrieved from: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/scientific-research-experimental-development-tax-incentive-program/guidelines-resolving-claimants-concerns.html.

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