SR&ED financing is an incredible way of maximizing the whole Canadian SR&ED process in Canada. Of course Canadian business owners and financial managers can wait for their refund – there is certainly nothing wrong with that.
However, if you choose to finance your claim now you can in effect continue to maximize the overall potential of this great Canadian program. Funds can be used for immediate purchase of equipment, allowing you to maintain your competitive market position – an excellent strategy might be to use a portion of the fund as a down payment on a lease or purchase of equipment, thereby reducing your overall borrowing cost.
When we meet with business owners and financial managers one of the key questions we are always asked is how much money can be financed under a claim. That answer is that, in general, you can get 70% of your overall claim, which is, of course, the combination of both the federal and the provincial claims as a total.
Since the claim you are financing is a cash grant, and non repayable the financing you receive under a SR&ED tax credit financing is yours for any corporate purpose. So typically the funds are used for working capital, purchase of new equipment, and even the repayment of any Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) arrears that you might have if you are in the unfortunate case of owing government super priority payments such as GST, Source deductions, etc.
If you are in a position of financing two years of claim, which is the allowable backdating under the program, you can of course get immediate financing ( FOR THE 70%) of the total of the two years claims. That can be very significant dollars in some cases. So as an example, you have filed a SR&ED claim for two years, the current fiscal year and your previous fiscal timeframe. Let’s say those two claims total $450,000.00 as an example. So over the last two years you have expended 450k, (probably much more) on research and development. You have had your claim prepared by a competent SR&ED consultant, and are now waiting for you technical and financial audit, which are standard during the SR&ED process.
So what is the option? As we stated it is a case of waiting, in our estimate between 3-12 months for your cheque, or, as we suggest for consideration, financing that claim now. Under of 70% rule you immediately obtain cash flow and working capital in the amount of $ 315,000.00 to use for general corporate purposes. When the claim is processed, approved and paid by the government you of course receive the balance of the 30% of the claim less financing costs. Financing costs are higher than normal business financing might be via your chartered bank, as in essence you are factoring a receivable that is due to your firm.
In order to ensure a solid and easier financing of your claim we again re state the fact that it is good to have your claim prepared by an experienced person in this area – which in some cases, but certainly not always, be your accountant or C.A. firm. We say ‘ not always ‘ because SR&ED claims preparation and analysis is very industry specific and is not what we would call a ‘ core competency ‘of every C.A. in Canada, and that’s an understatement!
In summary, it should probably go without saying that every Canadian firm should consider filing for their non- repayable SR&ED refund. If you choose not to wait for your government refund cheque, consider financing that claim now and making use of that valuable working capital for your cash flow needs. Speak to an experienced, credible, advisor in this area to initiate your claim financing.