How will we know if our SR&ED claim will be reviewed by CRA? How do they decide which claims to look at?
CRA chooses to review SR&ED claims on a case-by-case basis based upon their initial assessment of the project descriptions, the size and experience of the claimant, the size of the claim, etc. Usually first time claimants are visited by CRA to ensure that they understand the SR&ED program and are correctly identifying and claiming eligible items.
During the claim preparation process we take time to educate your staff about the SR&ED program, its eligibility criteria, what activities, expenses, projects typically qualify so they have a good understanding. We have found that this significantly improves the information we receive. In fact, since we began submitting SR&ED claims many of the “first-time” claims we filed were accepted solely based upon a desk review by CRA (with no visit to the claimant). There is, however, no guarantee that a future claim would be given the same treatment so we always work from the assumption that the claim will be reviewed and our client visited in order to prepare the strongest position possible to support the claim and minimize its time under review.