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How long do I have to make a claim?

The income tax act imposes a filing deadline of 12 months from the filing due date (ITA subsection 37(11)). Effectively, for a corporation this is 18 months from the corporation's year-end, and for an individual this is 17 months from the year-end.

Several recent tax court cases have upheld this deadline despite the Appellant citing extenuating circumstances:

  • a company claimed that the CRA representative had not advised them of any pressing deadlines - the judge ruled the "everyone is presumed to know the law, and [the CRA representative] certainly had no duty to warn." (VR interactive Corporation Date: 2005/02/24 Docket: T-451-04, Citation: 2005 FC 273 - see MEUK Newsletter 2006-1 for more details.)
  • a company filed an appeal for a claim that was denied because it was submitted well past the 18 month deadline. The Tax Court was not willing to extend the prescribed filing deadline. (Datacalc Research Corporation v. The Queen, (TCC) Docket: 2000-1413-IT-G Date: 2002/02/22 - see MEUK Newsletter 2002-1 for more details.)

Legislation was proposed in November 2005 to restrict any extensions to this deadline.

Note: Although you have up to 18 months to file a claim, we highly recommend that SR&ED claims be filed within 15 months of year-end. See When does an SR&ED claim need to be filed in order for the CRA to review and advise the claimant of any deficiencies in the claim? for further information.