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  • Writer's pictureColum Connolly

What Documentation Do You Need For SR&ED?

Oftentimes when individuals and businesses do research, and they think about preparing the proper documentation for their SR&ED claim, it seems like the process is too complicated or there is an overwhelming amount of documentation that needs to be put together.

Let’s Break. It. Down.

Think of your high school science lessons:

Hypothesis: Defining the expectations of the experiment. Usually, a hypothesis is made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.

Background: What public information is available in relation to your research project, what are the current gaps in this field of knowledge?

Aim: The intent of how you plan to investigate the hypothesis.

Objective: What were you hoping to learn from this? How does this help build knowledge?

Methods: What are you planning to do? How and in what sequence of events?

How did it go? How did you break down the activities needed to accomplish the intended results?

What did you learn and what did you learn/change to proceed further?

What was the result and what did you learn from it? What are your future plans with this project?

Keep documents that elaborate on the answers to the questions mentioned above. Below are some of the other important documents to keep track of:

Time tracking

All employees or contractors involved in the project should track their time and separate between SR&ED and non-SR&ED eligible activities. This will be easier to determine the percentage of time spent on SR&ED. You should also make notes of activities and technical challenges encountered.

Support documentation

This is a very obvious element but, document the names of the employees performing the SR&ED work, confirmation of their employment, verification that they are employees and not contractors.

Save all kinds of documentation that prove the conception as well as the progress (or even failure) of the project. CRA requires you to document all necessary details at the time the SR&ED work is done. Maintain records of technical challenges faced during the project. Include details on experiments conducted, prototypes, testing and analysis of the results of those tests.

Maintaining proper documentation is crucial for businesses and individuals who want to maximize their SR&ED claim. The information you provide through your documents can help you pass the scrutiny of your CRA reviewer. Contact a SR&ED consultant today to guide you through the process of collecting all information and preparing the right documentation.


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