What documentation is necessary when claiming SR&ED tax credits?

24 February 2020

Canadian companies, such as yours, that conduct  scientific research and experimental development, are entitled to claim tax credits, so long as the company’s R&D activity  meets three essential criteria:

  • it produces advances in science or technology;
  • it is predicated on a scientific or technological uncertainty;
  • it includes scientific and technical elements.

Meticulous documentation is particularly important with respect to the third criteria, scientific and technical content. Essentially, to successfully claim an  SR&ED tax credit, your company’s activity must be carried out in an organised manner, involve a systematic investigation which begins with the formulation of a hypothesis, is followed by a verification of this hypothesis (achieved by experiment or analysis), and is completed with the formulation of logical conclusions. This process must necessarily include repeated experiments during which all steps involved in the investigation, each modification, and all results obtained, are carefully documented. Naturally, most companies that engage in research and development already use this scientific approach, consciously or not, but it is the documentation itself that provides evidence of your important work and is what  allows companies such as yours to meet the admissibility requirements for SR&ED tax credits.

Presenting clear evidence that an investigation or systematic research has been undertaken is the best guarantee of successfully meeting SR&ED tax credit admissibility. A record of the hypotheses, tests and results should be kept as the work progresses. By producing a complete breakdown of all hypotheses, tests, results obtained, and resources dedicated to each project, your company provides  governments with all the information required to assess and approve the credit application.