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SRED tax credit filing simplified: CRA

Small businesses such as farms are expected to take greater advantage of Canada’s scientific research and experimental development tax credit (SRED) through a streamlined application process.

The Canada Revenue Agency on Monday announced a list of changes to the application process, including a more “user-friendly” format for submitting information on a potentially eligible research or development project.

That application, Form T661, and its accompanying guide have also been “reorganized for a more logical flow and to clarify the documentation needed to support an SRED claim,” the agency said in a release Monday.

The agency also now provides a web-based eligibility self-assessment tool which it said will help claimants see whether their research and development projects may qualify under the program.

The self-assessment tool is meant to increase the predictability of getting the tax credit for claimants, the agency said.

The SRED program also how has a new CD-ROM, brochure and leaflet, with information for new and returning claimants, the agency said.

“By making it easier to apply for SRED tax credits, the CRA is supporting businesses that are key to the long-term growth of the Canadian economy, that are providing quality jobs, and that are helping Canada compete for international investment dollars,” Revenue Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn said in the release.

“For too long, many small businesses were not taking advantage of this important tax credit simply because it could be complicated and cumbersome,” said Garth Whyte, executive vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, hailing the move in the government’s release.

The tax credit is meant to support either “advancement of scientific knowledge” or technical advancements for new or improved materials, equipment, processes or products. Some farm checkoffs used to fund research, such as the Western Grains Research Foundation’s wheat and barley checkoffs, are partly eligible for SRED credits.

The tax credit may also apply to eligible research or development work in animal husbandry, agronomy, plant breeding, plant protection, biomass feedstock production or other crop- or livestock-related sciences. Research in social sciences such as law, economics, communications or political science is not eligible.

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