Businesses and research and development (R&D) stakeholders have asked the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to make its Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program more predictable, in a more consistent way across Canada. Accordingly, the CRA is revamping its suite of services for the SR&ED Program. The CRA no longer offers the Pre-Claim Project Review and the Account Executive services, and is introducing a new service called the Pre-Claim Consultation.


The Pre-Claim Consultation is a free, on-demand service that tells businesses whether their work is SR&ED, before they make a claim. This corresponds to Step 1 of the Eligibility of Work for SR&ED Investment Tax Credits Policy which answers this question: is there an SR&ED project?


Based on the information a business provides, SR&ED reviewers will:

  • identify the R&D work that qualifies as SR&ED;
  • provide a decision in a written report that confirms whether your work qualifies for SR&ED tax incentives. This decision corresponds to Step 1 of the Eligibility of Work for SR&ED Investment Tax Credits Policy only. The report will not include a decision on the extent of eligible work or allowable expenditures;
  • provide advice on what supporting documents to keep; and
  • answer your questions and offer advice and recommendations.


Businesses can ask for a pre-claim consultation by completing and submitting the online Pre-Claim Consultation Request Form.


The Pre-Claim Consultation continues the move to a more tailored approach to address businesses’ needs that started with the First-time Claimant Advisory Service and the online Self-assessment Learning Tool.


Another new initiative, the Pre-Claim Review, will be launched as a pilot project in the summer of 2016. This is a review that happens before the filing of a claim. The Pre-Claim Review is intended to give assurance to claimants that their entire claim will be accepted as filed after they send it to the CRA.


The CRA recognizes the advantages of consulting and working with their key stakeholder associations and organizations to find solutions to reduce the administrative burden for SR&ED claimants. The SR&ED Program’s suite of services goes a long way in helping businesses to “get it right from the start”, reducing the time and effort required to file a successful claim.


More information about the SR&ED Program’s updated suite of services can be found here.