4 Essential Questions to Ask Your SR&ED Consultant

4 Essential Questions to Ask Your SR&ED Consultant

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If you’re ramping up your development efforts and looking to expand your capital stack, filing for government incentives like the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program can be a great way to increase your funds without the risks and equity sacrifices that can come with venture capital and other external investors. At Venbridge, we know the importance of claiming credits to help fuel your project and how crucial it is to have access to capital when it matters most. We’re proud to partner with Canadian businesses to offer SR&ED financing for a wide variety of industries and know that having expertise you can count on is essential for the successful funding of any R&D project.

Whether you’ve filed successfully in previous years and are looking to increase your refund amount or are unsure of how to maximize your benefit when filing for the first time, working with a SR&ED consultant can be a great way to make sure you don’t miss any vital details or make missteps on your documentation. Below, we’ll cover some of the core details to review with prospective SR&ED consultants, as well as the benefit of financing your credit with a trusted lender like Venbridge. Read on to learn more!

Why Consultants Matter

Filing for any form of government incentive can be challenging, with multiple details and processes necessary to ensure you receive the maximum benefit for your efforts. While the SR&ED program is versatile and inclusive, it’s important to know what is and isn’t eligible, expenditure limits, and more. SR&ED is also subject to occasional updates, making it essential to routinely stay on top of evolving details. For many businesses, it can be particularly difficult to know every aspect as thoroughly as possible; working with a trained consultant removes this burden and allows you to focus on your operations while they work on compiling your data more efficiently.

To this end, choosing a firm or independent consultant with extensive experience with the SR&ED program and, ideally, one that knows the specific ins and outs of your industry/sector is crucial. The more knowledge everyone has coming in, the better your results are likely to be in the long run. Other questions to ask a prospective consulting partner include:

How Do You Assess Eligibility for SR&ED Tax Credits?

A good consultant will be able to help you determine where you do and don’t qualify for SR&ED tax credits and will be able to explain the criteria used to assess the scientific or technological advancements, experimentation, and systematic investigation involved in your project(s). As mentioned above, ensure they understand the specifics relevant to your project. Understanding your consultant’s approach will help everyone stay aligned and keep your filing on track for the best results possible.

How Do You Document and Support SR&ED Claims?

Documentation is one of if not the most important, part of filing a successful SR&ED claim. A skilled consultant will know how to enhance any existing documentation, as well as fill in any gaps that are missing to ensure you are able to claim the highest amount possible. Simply put, a reliable consultant should be well-versed in the documentation requirements set forth by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and be able to guide you in maintaining proper records to support your claim.

What is Your Approach to Interacting With the CRA?

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will occasionally audit businesses (in fact, you can expect that you will be audited at some point if you continue to file for SR&ED) submitting SR&ED claims. While audits themselves are not necessarily an indicator of “wrongdoing,” not knowing how to handle them or preparing in advance to “show your work” when requested can lead to much bigger headaches in the long term. A consultant who is confident and experienced in dealing with the CRA can help alleviate stress and ensure a smoother process when it comes to the assessment and potential audit of your SR&ED claim.

What is Your Fee Structure?

Each consultancy will handle filing fees differently. For example, suppose your prospective partner operates on a contingency fee basis (meaning they receive a portion of your SR&ED credits). In that case, you should ask about their policies and the steps they take to ensure transparency in their calculations. Regardless of the fee structure in place, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the financial arrangements upfront to avoid any surprises later.

SR&ED Financing with Venbridge

Venbridge has provided hundreds of SR&ED funding and revenue-based financing solutions for businesses across Canada. As an experienced lending partner for SR&ED filers, we take pride in ensuring Canadian companies can pursue their innovative and research efforts with peace of mind. We can provide access to capital in as little as three business days upon approval from our underwriting team.

Contact our team today to learn more about partnering for interim SR&ED financing and funding!

Want to see how much you qualify in SRED credits? Use our free online tool here!

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