In 2008, quite a number of changes took place regarding the SR&ED program.  For one, the CRA hired a slew of auditors for SR&ED, increasing the likelihood that a technical and financial reviews will take place, no matter how solid the claim. For some businesses, especially first time claimants, this has proved to be daunting in attaining a significant return.

It is now more important than ever to have strong, solid, properly documented projects and to know one’s way through the maze that is the new T661 forms.  When it comes to describing project activities, you are now limited to 1400 words as opposed to a full twelve page narrative.  If the necessary requirements of technological uncertainty and advancement are not adequately supported, claims run the risk of being rejected, or at least of having certain activities disqualified, thus reducing the size of any return received.

Fortunately for rejected claims, if the 18 month period after fiscal year end claimed for has not expired, an objection can be submitted to the CRA within 90 days of receiving the notice of assessment.  if you feel that your project does in fact meet SR&ED requirements, it may very well be worthwhile to pursue an appeal.  The CRA outlines the appeals process on their website at:

All in all, the hassle of submitting objections and pursuing an appeal is time consuming.  This can be avoided altogether with the use of a consulting expert.  An experienced SR&ED consultant assess projects and handle the filing for you can be extremely valuable.  In addition, should claims be called to review, Northbridge Consultants readily will accompany you to the CRA review location.  While it is necessary that you attend and represent your projects, Northbridge provides assistance in the defense of any activities or documentation that may be disputed by the auditor.