AboutSR&ED Updates and Changes

SR&ED Program Updates: April-June 2020

Attention: Policies May Have Been Updated 

*** Some of the policies referenced were updated 2021-08-13. We are working to update this article and others. *** 

SR&ED Program Updates: January-March 2020
SR&ED Program Updates: April-June 2020

This post outlines SR&ED program updates from April-June 2020, including administrative, policy, tax law, and court cases. COVID-19 dominated the entire country for the quarter. We have identified some key trends to watch in the SR&ED environment.  


The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the entire world.  On March 17, 2020 the province of Ontario – which houses the Tax Court of Canada along with several large Canada Revenue Agency tax offices – declared a state of emergency and tens of thousands of employees were sent home, many without a way to continue working. As a result, many of our articles for this quarter focused on the impacts on Canada and the SR&ED program.  The government of Canada stopped processing claims for months, emergency funding became available for some corporations, and some filing deadlines (not all) were extended. On June 25, 2020, the CRA released a statement that the reporting deadline for SR&ED did not change and corporations still have 18 months after their tax year-end to file their SR&ED claim. The second quarter of 2020 could also be known as “the Quarter everything stopped while we figured out how to work remotely”. 

SREDucation Articles

SREDucation spent the April-June spring months discussing the effects of COVID-19 on SR&ED, drilling down into the forms to explain the various key lines in our blog posts, in the interest of further de-demystifying the application process for researchers and claimants. 

T661 Guidance

Following along the success of our Q1 blogs, we continued to focus on questions that our clients frequently ask during the course of the SR&ED claim process. These delve into topics of interest and serve to demystify the SR&ED application process for prospective claimants. We took a deep dive into the form T661 to provide some additional guidance and insight for future claimants.

Additional Articles

To round out our blog posts for Q2, we announced the creation of a new page, took a look at the privacy act assessment from the CRA and discussed government funding.

2020 SREDStakeholder Webcast

In May, we invited readers to join us in the annual SREDstakeholders virtual conference.  Our very own Elizabeth Lance was a presenter this year.  Medical SR&ED policies, new government funding programs (CEWS) for COVID-19, SR&ED statistics, and recent legal rulings were discussed and analyzed. We provided a summary for those unable to attend in Summary of 2020 SREDStakeholder Webcast, as well as links to the recordings. Additionally, we discussed “concrete lessons learned” from a legal ruling presented at the webcast in Beton Mobile du Quebec (BMQ) Analysis and Lessons Learned.

Administrative, Policy, and Legislative

The second quarter of 2020 brought some SR&ED news and information updates from CRA. While the program and policies remained constant, the CRA released information about the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program, as well as, an update stating that SR&ED filing deadlines remained unchanged in light of COVID-19 (both linked above).

From April-June 2020 the CRA posted two updates, one on June 19, 2020, and one on June 25, 2020, on their “What’s New – SR&ED Program” website.

On June 19, 2020, the CRA released information about the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program including a link to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy application guide. This 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers are considered government assistance and was created in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Judicial Proceedings

In terms of judicial proceedings, Q2 was quiet with no SR&ED court rulings released or on the docket due to the Tax Court of Canada’s closure due to COVID-19.

Summary of SR&ED Updates

SR&ED updates from April-June 2020 were busy as the country dealt with the pandemic. As in the prior three months, we continued our educational mandate, writing twenty more informative blog posts and creating one new page to help our organizations with their questions.  Check back for more updates as 2020 unfolds.

Share your thoughts on the recent SR&ED program updates
** Note: In 2020, the CRA updated the term “Ombudsman” to “Ombudsperson”. ** 

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