... tax back for your research

Does the work my company is doing count as SR&ED?

You may be eligible to receive refunds for SR&ED if:

  • you have to try to overcome one or more technological problems;
  • you have to conduct trials, experiments, or analysis to solve these problems;
  • you required experience or technologies not commonly available to your company to solve these problems; and
  • your work will result in a technological advancement. Even if your attempts prove unsuccessful, you may still qualify.

The CRA's SR&ED Website gives further detail:

"To qualify for the SR&ED program, work must advance the understanding of scientific relations or technologies, address scientific or technological uncertainty, and incorporate a systematic investigation by qualified personnel.

Work that qualifies for SR&ED tax credits includes:

  • experimental development to achieve technological advancement to create new materials, devices, products, or processes, or improve existing ones;
  • applied research to advance scientific knowledge with a specific practical application in view;
  • basic research to advance scientific knowledge without a specific practical application in view; and
  • support work in engineering, design, operations research, mathematical analysis, computer programming, data collection, testing, or psychological research, but only if the work is commensurate with, and directly supports, the eligible experimental development, or applied or basic research.

The following activities are not eligible for benefits under the program:

  • social science and humanities research;
  • commercial production of a new or improved material, device, or product, or the commercial use of a new or improved process;
  • style changes;
  • market research or sales promotion;
  • quality control or routine testing of materials, devices, products, or processes;
  • routine data collection;
  • prospecting, exploring, or drilling for or producing minerals, petroleum, or natural gas; and
  • development based solely on design or routine engineering practice."