SR&ED Program Service Standards

The objective of the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program is to deliver the SR&ED investment tax credit in a timely, consistent, and predictable manner, while encouraging research and development (R&D) performers to prepare their claims in compliance with tax laws, policies, and procedures.

Our service standards

The SR&ED Program has the following service standards for processing SR&ED claims:

  • refundable claims – 120 calendar days from receipt of a complete claim
  • non-refundable claims – 365 calendar days from receipt of a complete claim
  • claimant-requested adjustments to refundable claims – 240 calendar days from receipt of a complete claim
  • claimant-requested adjustments to non-refundable claims – 365 calendar days from receipt of a complete claim

Our commitment to you

The SR&ED Program is committed to meeting these service standards at least 90% of the time.

Our success rate

Our annual results are published in the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) Annual Report to Parliament. Our success in meeting these standards is measured by the percentage of files processed within the standard. CRA processing time is the number of calendar days it takes for the CRA to process claims from the time a complete claim is filed to the time the review is complete, excluding delays outside of the CRA's control.

The table below shows our results for the current fiscal year up to the end of the last completed quarter. The first column indicates the type of claim. The second column indicates the percentage of claims where the service standards are met in relation to CRA processing time. The third column indicates the CRA's average claim processing time in days. The fourth column indicates the average number of days associated with delays outside of the CRA's control. The fifth column indicates the total claim processing time.

Situations that may lead to delays outside of the CRA's control include:

  • Filing an incomplete claim
  • Filing an SR&ED claim without filing the associated income tax return
  • Not filing a claim at the appropriate tax centre or filing a claim at a tax services office
  • Being unable to respond to CRA's requests for information in a timely manner
  • Postponement or inability to schedule meetings with the CRA
  • Being unable to respond in a timely manner to a proposal letter sent by the CRA
  • Reviews of prior year SR&ED claims impacting the review of the current year claim
  • Modification to a claim during the course of a review
  • Requests by claimants that the review of their claim be delayed

Success Rate and Average Processing Times

April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018

This table show the success rate and the average processing times of the different type of claims.
Type of Claim CRA Success Rate Average Days (within CRA's control) Average Days (outside CRA's control) Total Average Time (days)*
Refundable claims 120 Days 94% 43 23 66
Refundable claimant-adjusted claims 240 Days 92% 129 51 179
Non-Refundable claims 365 Days 96% 100 63 163
Non-Refundable claimant-adjusted claims 365 Days 94% 167 132 298
All claims 94% 74 42 116

* The average days (within CRA's control) and the average days (outside CRA's control) may not add up to the Total Average time due to rounding.

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