Canada’s government have moved most of their departments’ individual websites to canada.ca,
however, does this make things easier to find?
If you’re looking for the CRA’s website, you’re not going to be able to find it anymore. That’s because all CRA information is now part of Canada.ca, the government’s one-stop web portal for most of its departments and agencies. This portal is modeled from successful web portals of other world governments, such as the United Kingdom’s Gov.uk.
There are pros and cons to this approach. The upside is that by having most of Canada’s governmental information in one place, the average Canadian will be able to (supposedly) navigate through the site’s information architecture a lot faster and easier based on tasks they wish to complete.
The downside is that this buries some specific program information. For instance, if you wanted to find information on the SR&ED tax credit program from the Canada.ca home page, you would have look for and then click on the link to “All Services” (which is hard to find on the home page), then click on “Taxes” on the “All Services” page, then click on “Income Tax”, and then click on “Corporate Income Tax” – all according to the breadcrumb trail on the SR&ED landing page. That’s four links to click on to get to this point. If you click around on Gov.uk, on the other hand, you will find that that site tends to make information accessible within a maximum of three clicks.
Finding SR&ED Information on Canada.ca Can Be a Chore
On the “Corporate Income Tax” page, there is currently no direct link to the SR&ED program. (If there was, it would take five onerous clicks to find SR&ED information on Canada.ca.) There is a link to “Business Tax Credits” on the “Corporate Income Tax” page, but, as of the time of this writing, the link takes you to a Canada Business Network web page.1
Granted, it is a bit easier to find SR&ED information if you use the drop-down menus at the top of the Canada.ca pages. You would choose “Business” on the drop-down menu, then select “R&D and Innovation.” When you get to the “R&D and Innovation” page, you would then click on “Innovation Funding and Support”. Then you would click on “Tax Credits for Research and Development.” That takes you to the SR&ED landing page, and it would take you five clicks to get there.
The drop-down menu, however, may not be an intuitive way to find the information for all users. Individuals who operate as proprietorships or as members of a partnership can also claim SR&ED tax credits, so using the “Business” drop-down menu choice may not make sense for everyone. Those who are individual business owners may be looking for a drop-down menu choice tailored to “Individuals” (which currently does not exist), and give up after not finding it.
The federal government has some work to do to make it easier to find SR&ED information, and get users to the right place. Right now, your best bet is to use Google or another search engine (including Canada.ca’s – though be careful as some of the links, such as to the SR&ED landing page, are links to the old CRA site) to find specific SR&ED information.
That all said, we will make things easier for you. You can access the SR&ED program’s landing page by clicking this link.
Other Useful SR&ED Links on Canada.ca
There are other popular links for SR&ED on Canada.ca that will be useful to you, so we have listed a selection of them here:
- SR&ED Contacts
- SR&ED Glossary
- SR&ED Program Policies
- SR&ED Program Procedures and Guidelines
- T661 Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Expenditures Claim
- T4088 Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Expenditures Claim- Guide to Form T661
Don’t Forget to Update Your Bookmarks
Since the CRA’s website, technically, no longer exists, you should update your bookmarks to the new Canada.ca site as soon as possible. Currently, the old CRA website URLs redirect you to Canada.ca, but this is only meant to be a temporary measure. At some point in the near future, those links will break.
For that reason, if you have saved any bookmarks to SR&ED pages on the old CRA site, you should update them now to avoid having to look for those pages on Canada.ca when the redirected links disappear.