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Get ready to claim

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Basic steps to claiming

To claim SR&ED tax incentives, you will need to:

  • Identify your eligible work and group it into a project
  • Describe the SR&ED work (including the advancement)
  • Calculate your SR&ED expenditures
  • Claim a deduction and earn an investment tax credit (ITC)

We recommend you submit your SR&ED claim together with your income tax return for the year.

Be sure to keep all technical and financial documentation that can support your claim.

Staff involvement you'll need

We recommend that businesses involve senior technical and financial personnel in preparing the claim. Having the involvement of staff with in-depth knowledge of the SR&ED work and the company's financial records will help ensure the accuracy of the claim.

To properly budget the time and resources needed to complete your claim, we encourage you to review the eligibility requirements before you begin.

SR&ED reporting deadlines

Submit your claim before the deadline

The CRA does not accept any changes to a claim after the SR&ED reporting deadline has passed.

We recommend you submit your SR&ED claim before the reporting deadline and together with your income tax return.

Why send it early

Your SR&ED claim can only be processed once the CRA has received your income tax return for the year.

To avoid delays, submit your SR&ED claim at the same time as your income tax return.

If you submit your claim at least 90 days before the SR&ED reporting deadline, it should give the CRA enough time to do an initial review. If any information is missing, we will have time to advise you to modify your claim before the deadline.

Find out when your SR&ED reporting deadline is

Your SR&ED reporting deadline depends on your income tax filing due date. Your filing due date depends on what type of taxpayer you are (individual, corporation, or trust).


Your SR&ED reporting deadline is 12 months after your T2 Corporation Income Tax Return is due.


Your SR&ED reporting deadline is 12 months after your T3 Trust Income Tax and Information Return is due

Individuals who have a business

Your SR&ED reporting deadline is 12 months after your T1 Income Tax and Benefit Return is due.

Get your dates
  • Tax filing due date: June 15
    (after the tax year end)
  • SR&ED reporting deadline: 12 months later
    (June 15 the following year)

We recommend you submit your SR&ED claim early, when you file your income taxes.

To learn more about filing due dates and SR&ED reporting deadlines, review Section 5, Filing Requirements Policy.

Keep supporting documentation

Keeping proper documentation will make it easier to prepare and support your claim.

Your documentation must show:

  • What work was done
  • Who was involved with the work
  • When they did the work
  • How you calculated the associated expenditures

What documentation to keep

Keep any documentation that will support your SR&ED claim.

Documentation that is dated, signed, and specific to the work performed is best. However, we will accept various types of supporting documentation.

Examples of supporting documentation
  • Project planning documents
  • Documents on design of experiments
  • Experimentation plan
  • Design documents and technical drawings
  • Project records and laboratory notebooks
  • Design, system architecture, and source code (software development)
  • Records of trial runs
  • Project progress reports
  • Minutes of project meetings, virtual meeting chats
  • Whiteboard drawings
  • Test protocols, data, results, analysis, and conclusions
  • Final project report or professional publication
  • Photographs and videos
  • Prototypes and samples
  • Scrap and scrap records
  • Contracts and lease agreements
  • Records of resources allocated to the project, time sheets, activity records, and payroll records
  • Purchase invoices and proof of payment
  • Accounting records
  • Other artefacts that relate to the work

To learn more about documentation to support your SR&ED claim, review Appendix 2, T4088 guide to SR&ED Expenditures Claim.

Make sure your claim is accurate

Claimants are responsible for the accuracy of the information in their SR&ED claim whether they complete the claim themselves or have it done by someone else.

We recommend being proactive with recordkeeping. Maintaining records throughout all phases of your SR&ED work supports the claiming process and may reduce errors in your claim.

Get support with claiming

Review the policy about filing requirements

SR&ED Filing Requirements Policy

Request a Pre-claim consultation

Request a Pre-claim consultation to help identify if there is SR&ED work in your project before you submit a claim.

Pre-claim consultation

Contact us

Call us if you have any questions about the SR&ED program or how to prepare your claim.

Contact us

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