Companies often presume the top accounting firms are the most efficient at claiming tax incentives. Richard Hoy, President of Catax Canada, looks at why specialist tax advisers can be a better bet.
The biggest accounting firms are often considered to be one-stop shops for all aspects of tax but that doesn’t necessarily mean clients get everything they’re entitled to.
When it comes to claiming tax breaks on innovation, known as SR&ED, there could be a number of reasons why you would be better off with a specialist consultant.
The most obvious reason is that Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax incentives are recognised as one of the most complex areas of CRA legislation.
Those who devote their working lives to it are capable of uncovering qualifying costs routinely missed by regular accountants.
If you have employed the services of one of the country’s largest accountancy firms, they are also likely to require payment even if a SR&ED claim proves unsuccessful. These bigger firms typically have clients on retainers and work across all areas of tax — not just SR&ED. SMEs can feel like they’re not the focus of attention and there’s less incentive to uncover all qualifying costs.
Things are different when you deal with specialist SR&ED practices. The easiest way to price for this work is to bring the client’s and the consultancy’s interests into alignment. This is why a dedicated SR&ED specialist like Catax chooses to charge fees based on the overall benefit achieved for the client. The client carries no risk throughout the process, and the consultancy is highly motivated to uncover all qualifying costs.
The expertise of those who only make SR&ED claims also extends into specific sectors. Such tax analysts end up with incredible insights into what R&D and SR&ED qualifying costs look like in different industries.
You can count on them to be familiar with the essential know-how in your field, from the latest technological developments to industry jargon and the environmental benchmarks being applied by regulators.