SR&ED Clinic

Joint Filing vs. Amended Filing

  • A joint SR&ED filing is when schedule T661, which describes the SR&ED projects, is included as part of the original corporate T2 tax filing. This must be done within 6 months of the corporate financial year end, the filing deadline for the T2.
  • An amended filing is when the T661 is filed separately, after the T2 has already been filed. The filing deadline is 18 months from the corporate financial year end.
  • A joint filing is much preferred because you get paid much more quickly, and industry experience shows that the chance of an audit is reduced.

Technology vs. Technological, What’s The Difference?

These two words, “technology” and “technological” sound almost the same yet they are ever so different in the SR&ED program!

The easiest way to understand technology is to think of it as using existing knowledge and while you may manipulate what it does, you don’t manipulate how it works. This is not really SR&ED.

For example, you buy some equipment (someone else’s technology) and then set it up. Perhaps the setup was not obvious for your application and you have to fiddle with it, but in the end you learned nothing more than how to set up the equipment for your particular needs.

Technological, on the other hand, is really getting into the guts of a technique or mechanism, understanding how it works, its limitations, and trying to manipulate how it works so that you get what you want. You experiment with different approaches, see why they fail, and in so doing, understand the problem and mechanisms better so that you can offer new ways of doing things. Now you have created new knowledge.

For example, after fiddling with the new equipment you have purchased, you find that it is not capable of meeting your requirements, but you think you may be able to modify it to work differently. You try different modifications, and develop a new or modified mechanism that eventually meets your needs. That sounds a lot like SR&ED.

Once you can show some technological involvement, there is almost always technical involvement that can be claimed in association with the technological activities as support work.


What does SR&ED stand for?

  • SR&ED stands for Scientific Research and Experimental Development. It is often pronounced “shred.”
  • Scientific Research means a systematic investigation or search by means of experimentation in the field of science to gain new scientific knowledge. This covers basic research (advancement of scientific knowledge with no specific practical application being sought) and applied research which usually advances the findings of basic research to apply science to a specific problem. Scientific research is a rarity in business, usually carried out by very large companies, research organizations and universities.
  • Most clients perform Experimental Development. This can be defined as advancing the understanding of basic or applied research, applying it to the improvement of  existing materials, devices, products or processes. It can also be seen as the incremental advancement of knowledge to resolve a specific technological obstacle.
  • Most clients encounter SR&ED when they face a problem that cannot be solved simply by applying known techniques, and they have to systematically experiment to find a solution, where the approach, timeline and/or success are uncertain.