When it is time to prepare your SR&ED tax credit claim, there are a few corporate tax preparation software options you can use when filing – that is, if you do not want to pay tax specialists to do it for you.
The good thing about software is that most packages will auto-populate fields in other forms that you file along with your taxes and the T661 Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Expenditures Claim, which will make things easier for you rather than having to do everything manually.
However, you want to be sure that you’re using a good software package with no or few known issues. We’ve examined a few of the corporate tax preparation software packages you can try (and some that you might want to avoid), based on the information the various companies have provided. This will help you be sure you find a software package that suits your claim’s filing needs.
Corporate Tax Preparation Software
|Jurisdiction||Schedule Title /Number||Description||Taxprep||CanTax||ProFile||TaxCycle||TaxTron||SREDable|
|Federal||Sch. 31||Investment Tax Credit - Corporations||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Federal||Sch. 31||Summary of Investment Tax Credit Carryovers||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Federal||Sch. 32 - T661||Claim for SR&ED||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Federal||Sch. 30 - T1263||Third-party Payments for SR&ED||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown|
|Federal||Sch. 60 - T661 Part 2||Project Information||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown|
|Federal||T661 Parts 1 and 9||Parts 1 and 9 of the T661 form can be printed separately||Yes||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown|
|Federal||Sch. 61 - T1145||Agreement to allocate assistance for SR&ED between persons not dealing at arm's length||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown|
|Federal||Sch. 62 - T1146||Agreement to transfer qualified expenditures incurred in respect of SR&ED contracts between persons not dealing at arm's length||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown|
|Federal||Sch. 49||Agreement among associated CCPCs corporations to allocate the expenditure limit||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown|
|Québec||RD-222||Deduction respecting scientific research and experimental development expenditures||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Unknown|
|Québec||RD-1029.7||Tax credit for salaries and wages (R&D)||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Unknown|
|Québec||RD-1029.7.8||Agreement between associated corporations regarding the expenditure limit||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Unknown|
|Québec||RD-1029.8.6||Tax credit for university research or research carried out by a public research centre or a research consortium||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Unknown|
|Québec||RD-1029.8.9.03||Tax credit for fees and dues paid to a research consortium||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Unknown|
|Québec||RD-1029.8.16.1||Tax credit for private partnership pre-competitive research||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Unknown|
|Alberta||AB Sch. 9||Scientific research & experimental development (SR&ED) tax credit||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown|
|Alberta||AB Sch. 9||Listing of SR&ED projects claimed||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown|
|Alberta||AB Sch. 16||Scientific research expenditures||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown|
|British Columbia||BC Sch. 425 - T666||SR&ED Tax Credit||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown|
|Manitoba||MB Sch. 380||Manitoba research and development tax credit||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown|
|Saskatchewan||SK Sch. 403||R&D Tax Credit||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||NL Sch. 301||R&D Tax Credit||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown|
|Nova Scotia||NS Sch. 340||R&D Tax Credit||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown|
|New Brunswick||NB Sch. 360||R&D Tax Credit||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown|
|Yukon||YT Sch. 442||R&D Tax Credit||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown|
|Ontario||ON Sch. 508||Ontario research and development tax credit||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ontario||ON Sch. 566||Innovation tax credit||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ontario||ON Sch. 568||Business-research institute tax credit||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown|
|Ontario||ON Sch. 569||Business-research institute tax credit contract information||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown|
|Able to import data?||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Unknown|
|Minimum Potential Cost*||From $1,029 (+tax)||From $222**||From $1,960||From $825||From $99.99||Unknown|
|*These prices and this information is for guidance only please contact individual software companies to confirm pricing and the software that you require.|
|**Quebec forms and some other forms cannot be filed on the pay-per-file price plan. Please contact the company before purchasing to ensure your chosen plan is compatible with the form(s) you need to file.|
Taxprep is perhaps the most popular T2 corporate tax filing software you can use for your claim and is manufactured by Wolters Kluwer. You can use the software to delete a project in the T661 file and retrieve project data from prior versions of the tool, which offers some degree of flexibility based on your needs. (Be careful about using the same project data on two different applications as the CRA will automatically deny your claim if you do so.)
The Taxprep website lists nearly 500 forms that the software supports, though the list is incomplete – the Schedule 31 (Investment Tax Credit), for instance, is not listed on the website, but the software does support it. Provincial tax credit forms such as Ontario’s Schedule 508 – Ontario Research and Development Tax Credit and Schedule 566 – Ontario Innovation Tax Credit are supported as well. However, unlike another corporate tax preparation software made by this company called CanTax (consult the following entry), Taxprep offers support to those filing corporate taxes in Quebec.
When writing this page we contacted Wolters Kluwer to confirm which forms their software supported. Their customer services were prompt and friendly in their reply. The Corporate Taxprep “Lite” level is the minimum membership needed to file a T661 and this costs approximately $1,029 (+tax). Some corporate tax preparers online offer to help file an SR&ED claim for half of that cost, so you have to think about the solution that will work for you, particularly if you are a small business or start-up.
Another Wolters Kluwer tax software package that handles SR&ED is CanTax. The program supports corporate tax returns in every province and territory except Quebec. All forms are included with the basic package of this program, which also does calculations. You do not need to remember the full name of a particular tax credit form or schedule – you can simply search for a keyword and the program will find it for you. What may make this software particularly exceptional to small businesses is you can download a pay-per-file version from the CanTax website and only pay for the number of files (usually one or two) that you want to submit.
Another feature that may make CanTax useful to your team is that you can post review notes on a cell or the whole return. That means you can put notes for information that needs further consideration in certain places and communicate with others working on the file. Also, when writing this page we contacted Wolters Kluwer to confirm which forms their software supported and their customer services were very friendly and prompt in their reply. However, you will not be able to use CanTax if you are running older operating systems, such as Windows XP or Windows Vista, on your computer.
One of the key features of ProFile (made by Intuit) is that it offers a comprehensive list of forms, including the Ontario tax credit schedules, that auto-populate based on information you place elsewhere on the form or in other forms, including those related to SR&ED. ProFile can complete the table in Part 6 of the T661 form automatically based on information already entered in the relevant parts of the form, or it allows you to complete the table manually. ProFile also gives you the ability to file provincial tax credit forms along with the T661, including the Schedule 429, the British Columbia Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit.
The program appears to get regularly updated whenever the CRA makes changes to any of its forms. It also supports the filing of Quebec corporate income tax, though that version is at least $300 more expensive to buy as opposed to the non-Quebec version, which costs $1,960.
We did not need to contact ProFile to enquire which forms their software supported, as, very helpfully they provide a full list on their website. However, ProFile does not allow data imports from Excel files. The interface is more user-friendly than Taxprep as it allows single-click form completion, however, there is also at least one known issue with ProFile and it is unclear if the problem has been fixed or if it affected just one user. That user complained in 2014 that project data in their T661 was not transferring to the CRA automatically, meaning that the complainant had to fill the form out manually and send it by fax to the CRA. That kind of bug may give you pause if you are looking for everything to be filed electronically without any problems.
A Trilogy Software product, TaxCycle (the T2-CO17 version) supports a variety of SR&ED-related forms including Schedule 31, the T661 and a number of provincial forms. It also appears to be regularly updated and includes SR&ED forms, such as the T1263 – Third-party payments for SR&ED, in the software’s updates. This seems like a robust software package to use in filing your SR&ED claims.
When we contacted TaxCycle their customer services were also friendly and prompt in their reply. A search of the Internet does not bring up any major or unresolved problems with TaxCycle for SR&ED. You may, however, want to ask any of your peers if they have used the software and discovered any issues with it.
TaxTron (both the name of the software and the company that makes it) does all of the calculations for you, includes government-approved forms and stays up-to-date with changes. There are two versions of the software for businesses: TaxTron 2 for Corporations, which is meant for small businesses who want to file their own taxes, and TaxTron 2 Professional for Corporations, which is aimed at larger businesses who file multiple corporate tax claims.
You can download the product for free and pay when filing claims that do not have a net loss in business income. You will have to get a web access code or Efile Number (depending on the software program you’re using) from the CRA to be able to file electronically.
Upon being contacted for writing this page, TaxTron’s customer services were helpful and prompt in their reply, however, the downside is that this software program does not support Quebec tax returns. An additional issue is that some provincial and territorial research and development tax credit forms are not supported, such as Schedule 403 – Saskatchewan Research and Development Tax Credit and Schedule T2SCH442 – Yukon Research and Development Tax Credit. Check the company’s website for further tax form exclusions based on your province or territory.
In the past, there have been issues with corrupt filenames when downloading the program. This particular issue was corrected in January 2015, but, at the time of this article’s writing, the problem was still listed at the top of the firm’s Facebook page feed. One hopes that the software development team is more capable than the company’s social media team when it comes to making crucial updates.
SR&ED-Specific Software (incl. Fillable SR&ED Forms)
The information on this page is intended for guidance only. Please contact the software company of your choosing directly, before purchasing, to confirm their software meets your requirements.