One of the most interesting aspects of exhibiting at PACKEX 2013 was the opportunity to hear stories about past Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED or SRED) tax program experiences from attendees. Unfortunately, some of these stories did not have a happy ending.
It’s true that SR&ED is a complicated process. It’s true that there is a lot of extremely mundane paperwork. It’s true that some claims will go into a review process and require an audit. The system isn’t designed to be easy. However, some companies still try to navigate the SR&ED waters alone right from the beginning. They find the process takes too long to complete, goes into review and in the end the claim is denied. Rather than attempt another claim the following year, they walk away from the program forever leaving all those possible future benefits on the table.
Pretty dramatic, but unfortunately all too often the case.
If you’ve had a bad experience with the SR&ED program it can be tough to look at the process with new eyes. There are some small, but important, changes that can be made to the process that can make a big difference to future claims:
What companies need to remember is that just because the current project isn’t SR&ED eligible, doesn’t mean the next one won’t be as well. You just need to keep trying. Yes, it may seem like a lot of work should you decide to put the claim together yourself, but think about the reward in the end when a claim gets accepted. It will all be worth it when the cheque arrives.