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Taxpayers’ ombudsman announces review of SR&ED program


October 1, 2009
By André Voshart

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The official Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman is conducting a review of the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit program, a program Manufacturing AUTOMATION has promoted several times in recent years.

The ombudsman is mandated to review service-related complaints against the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and to identify and investigate systemic and emerging issues that can negatively affect taxpayers and benefit recipients. As far as the SR&ED program is concerned, the preliminary objectives of this enquiry are to determine whether the CRA is administering the SR&ED program fairly with respect to:

• The recent changes to the application forms and procedures for the SR&ED program — were they communicated appropriately to taxpayers?
• The options for a taxpayer or authorized representative to receive a second opinion on the technical aspects of their SR&ED submissions.

"This is an important opportunity for those who are using the program and are concerned about how their claims are being treated to provide input," the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance) wrote on its website recently.

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"To be influential, factual support may be required by the Ombudsman," the note continues. "Some companies we have spoken to have expressed concern about the CRA’s response should they contact the Ombudsmen."

The objectives may be refined in the course of the enquiry and additional issues may be added.

If anyone has experienced any difficulty related to the above-noted issues or if you have another service or fairness issue in regard to the SR&ED program, the ombudsman invites you to contact them.

Previous coverage:
The ROI of R&D: Tax credits are easier to obtain than you think by Vanessa Chris
Digging for dollars: Funding innovation for SMBs by Paul Hogendoorn