Claim SR&ED tax incentives - After submitting your claim

After submitting your claim

When you file your claim with your tax return, the tax centre will check it for completeness. If you claim is processed without further review, the CRA assesses your income tax return.

If we need to do a further examination, we will send your return to a coordinating tax services office, where technical and financial reviewers will review the claim.

If your claim is selected for a detailed review, CRA reviewers may visit your place of business. They will speak with your technical and financial staff directly involved in the SR&ED claim and review documents and other supporting evidence that substantiate your claim. The research and technology advisor evaluates the claimed work to see if it meets the definition of SR&ED. The financial reviewer examines the costs associated with the claimed work to make sure that they are allowable SR&ED expenditures. The CRA’s reviewers verify that you receive the SR&ED tax incentives you are entitled to. Open communication between you and the CRA reviewers will help all parties know what to expect during the review process.

A detailed review usually consists of the following three basic steps:

  • preparing and planning
  • conducting the review
  • communicating, reporting and finalizing the results

The SR&ED Technical Review: A Guide for Claimants explains the claim review process to help you to better prepare for a review of the SR&ED work performed in the year.

Note: During a review process, you may not agree with the decisions of the CRA reviewers. Because dispute resolution is important to the CRA and the SR&ED program, we developed a process for dealing with disagreements before your file is closed. The Guidelines for Resolving Claimants' SR&ED Concerns contain step-by-step processes to express your concerns and request an administrative review.

Filing an objection

When the SR&ED review is completed and the report is finalized, the CRA will inform you of the SR&ED expenditures and investment tax credits allowed or disallowed. This may result in an assessment or reassessment of your tax return.

If you feel that the facts have been misinterpreted or the law has been applied incorrectly, you have the right to object to most decisions by filing a notice of objection with the CRA.

You have up to 90 days from the date of the notice of assessment or reassessment to file an objection. Explain the reasons for the objection and outline all the relevant facts.

How the CRA processes objections

When the CRA receives an objection, an appeals officer at the tax services office or tax centre reviews the assessment or reassessment in dispute. The appeals officer then contacts you or your representative to discuss the differences and try to resolve the dispute. For more information about this process, see Resolving disputes.

Filing an appeal

If your concerns have not been resolved, you can then appeal the assessment or reassessment to the Tax Court of Canada.

Find out more about the appeals and the objection processes, including how to file an objection, at Objections and Appeals.

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