If you haven’t been reviewed in the past few years, it’s probably because you are vastly under-claiming
Getting a SR&ED claim submitted and approved is one thing, but to feel certain that you are set to receive the highest claim amount possible is another thing altogether. The problem of identifying every eligible expenditure is compounded when attempting to prepare a claim for a large organization. Many of eligible SR&ED claimants with the biggest claim potential are missing out on a large part of their eligible expenditures, simply due to the complexities of preparing such a large claim. Even if you have dozens of plants and several divisions, the SR&ED program allows one annual claim per operating company. BeneFACT has handled many large claims with these challenges, and even helped review claims that have already been prepared to ensure the maximum claim amount. We’ve learned some things over the years and there are three best practices standards that work best when submitting claims for large companies.
For some, the measure of success with SR&ED is if a claim is submitted and approved with no review. The pitfall of that is you run the risk of leaving money on the table. CRA review standards means that a review should be expected every five years. If you haven’t been reviewed in the past few years, it’s probably because you are vastly under-claiming. Some clients tell us it’s because it makes sense for their processes, because it causes the least amount of friction. Once they look at the claim amount when maximized however, they usually change their minds. This can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars for the largest eligible SR&ED claimants.
A SR&ED claim for an organization with many plants and divisions can very easily become, well, disorganized. It’s your employees that will have to take time out of their day to work with the SR&ED team to identify and discuss projects. They are the ones that have to be on board to work with the SR&ED team to make a claim happen. A communication roadblock at one plant can hold up the whole claim process. Make sure your employees whose work relates to SR&ED understand the value and are invested in the benefits it brings to the company.
The best way to get your employees invested in SR&ED is through training. It may seem like an added step at first glance, and therefore even more time consuming. Ensuring your employees understand SR&ED and how to track their activities accordingly can save an inordinate amount of time down the road. We often hear the biggest challenge many engineers face is getting them to remember work they did 12 or even six months ago. With training and a simple tracking process in place, this problem can be easily eradicated.