You’ve finally decided to look a little more deeply into the Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credit program. It can’t be that hard to find a good SR&ED consultant, right? Not necessarily. With the growing popularity and better public knowledge of the SR&ED program, more Canadian SR&ED (SRED) firms are popping up. Unfortunately, not all firms are created equal.
The last thing we want is for you to be intimidated by all the consultant choices on the market, so we’ve compiled a list of what to look for when choosing a consultant – and a few of the red flags as well. After all, this is your business and your livelihood. You don’t want to trust that to just anyone.
One of the first things to do is check out the company and see if they’re active on the SR&ED scene. Are they interested in educating people? Are they engaging with the public through presentations and trade shows? Also, ask if any testimonials or references are available. You want to work with a company that offers many years of SR&ED experience, not someone who read a few articles online and now considers themselves to be an expert.
It definitely helps to look for a consulting company that offers free document and time tracking software. Keeping documents in order and tracking employees time is a huge part of the SR&ED tax claim process, and can make or break a claim. Tracking software is a huge bonus when included with your consultant package.
SR&ED eligible activities occur in a wide variety of verticals including biotechnology, food and beverage, manufacturing, chemicals, automation, IT, software and more. Your consulting firm should have someone on hand that has knowledge of not only SR&ED, but how the activity your company is involved in relates to the program. A company that is too small may not have the breadth of knowledge and experience needed to maximize your specific claim. Ask about what kind of claims the company has filed and if they have successfully procured benefits for others in your industry.
Choosing the right SR&ED consultant to handle your claim is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. Look for Part 2 of this discussion on the blog soon! And in the meantime, should you have any hesitations about SR&ED or choosing the right SR&ED Consultants, call BeneFACT® Consulting Group and we’ll be happy to answer any questions.