In the past the CRA has maintained reasonable consistency in assigning Research Technology Advisors (RTA’s) and Financial Reviewers (FR’s) to SR&ED files: if a company had a particular RTA or FR on their file in a given year, the chances were good that the same individual would be assigned in the subsequent year. This informal method benefited both the CRA and taxpayers since it reduced the time required to bring new reviewers up to speed on a file. The benefits were particularly apparent in cases where a large number of complex projects were carried forward from year to year.
TSGI has been informed recently that the CRA Prairie Region will be experimenting with increasing the reassignment rate of RTA’s and FR’s on SR&ED files. The purpose is to achieve a higher degree of segregation of duties among CRA personnel and greater objectivity during detailed reviews (audits). The CRA does not plan to deliberately change reviewers each year but taxpayers should not expect to see the same reviewers assigned for many years in a row.
Taxpayers should expect a higher turnover in CRA review personnel than they experienced in the past. In response, TSGI recommends that taxpayers should budget additional time and resources towards educating new RTA’s and FR’s on the background of their claims. We also recommend that companies review their recordkeeping policies to ensure that information from previous fiscal years has been retained and is easily accessible for future use.
Specific inquiries regarding this topic may be directed to:
Note: TSGI does not maintain this news article after its initial posting. Readers are further advised that the information presented here may not be sufficient for unassisted tax planning. Please contact a TSGI representative if you require clarification or other assistance regarding this topic.