SR&ED Program Service Standards

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


If you sent a complete SR&ED claim (refundable or non-refundable) before April 1, 2018, the previous service standards will apply. See Service standards for the SR&ED program before April 1, 2018.

Service standards

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

  • Refundable claims which have been accepted as filed, will be processed within 60 calendar days of the date we receive a complete claim.
  • Refundable claims selected for review will be completed within 180 calendar days of the date we receive a complete claim.

Our commitment to you

The CRA is committed to meeting the service standards 90% of the time.

Success rate

The CRA’s annual results are published in its Departmental Results Reports. The CRA’s success in meeting the standards is measured by the percentage of claims processed within the standards. CRA processing time is the number of calendar days it takes for the CRA to process a claim from the time a complete claim is filed to the time the review is finished, not including delays outside of the CRA's control.

Situations outside of the CRA's control that may lead to delays in processing SR&ED claims include:

  • an incomplete claim is filed;
  • an SR&ED claim is filed without the associated income tax return;
  • there is no communication in response to the CRA's requests for information or to a CRA’s proposal letter;
  • postponement by the claimant or claimant’s inability to schedule meetings with the CRA;
  • CRA review of previous-year SR&ED claim(s) affecting a current-year claim.
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