Effect of government COVID-19 emergency aids (non-subsidy) on your SR&ED and E-Business

Covid-19 Keyboard

Continuing with our series of articles on government emergency measures, we will now continue by talking about non-subsidy COVID-19-related aid programs. Once again, we will look at the likely impact of any such aid on your future Scientific Development and Experimental Development (SR&ED) and E-Business (CDAE in French for crédit d’impôt aux Affaires Électroniques) tax credit claims.

As already recommended previously, it is important to keep any emergency aid documents you will receive safe and handy. They will be needed when calculating future SR&ED and E-Business tax credits and could be requested by tax authorities in the event of an audit.

Emergency aid resulting in reduction of time spent on eligible activities

Laid-off employees who earned wages totalling at least $5,000 over the last 12 months and who did not receive any income for a consecutive period of 14 days due to COVID-19 can receive the CERB. This benefit provides $500 per week for a maximum of 16 weeks.  What this means for the employer is that employees receiving this benefit are no longer in the company’s payroll.

The work sharing (WS) program is designed to help employers and employees avoid lay-offs when the company is experiencing a temporary slump in its business operations.  The benefit provides employment insurance (EI) to eligible employees who agree to a reduction in their normal working hours and to share work with their colleagues as the company recovers. Self-employed workers and shareholders holding more than 40% of voting shares are ineligible.

To receive this aid, the targeted employees must consent to a 10% to 60% reduction in their working hours. The employer will continue to pay the employees for the regular hours worked. EI fills the gap by paying such employees directly for the hours not worked. These direct payments are generally equal to 55% of the employees’ weekly wage and can go up to a maximum of $573.

To apply for the program, the employer needs to complete the appropriate forms available on the Service Canada website and submit them by e-mail. The e-mail address differs according to the province in which the company is located. Employers are requested to submit their application 10 calendar days before their requested program start date. Simplified measures implemented by Service Canada during the crisis should reduce the processing period to 10 calendar days. Application forms and relevant documents must be preserved carefully for future reference.

Conclusion: These two programs will have an impact on eligible SR&ED activities, which will either see a drop in volume or could be completely put on hold. As companies emerge from the crisis, they will therefore be faced with two possible scenarios. SR&ED activities may recover at a pace exceeding the normal growth rate during regular periods, with minimum impacts on credits, or conversely, such activities may lag significantly, which may in turn have a major negative impact on credits. In any case, it is crucial that any effort invested in eligible SR&ED activities be properly documented.

Temporary lay-offs and the work sharing program greatly affect the E-Business tax credit and its eligibility criteria (which require a minimum of 6 employees, 40 weeks of employment and 26 working hours per week). Investissement Québec has not yet made any official pronouncement on the matter, but our experience tells us that it could be relatively relaxed if everything is well documented.  We will communicate details as soon as we have an official response on the issue.

It should further be noted that your company could be eligible for the work sharing program as well as the two subsidies covered in our previous publications (CEWS and 10% temporary subsidy).  If that is the case, the CEWS shall be reduced by the amounts paid or reimbursed under the 10% temporary wage subsidy and the work sharing program for the same period.

Emergency aid potentially affecting your E-Business claim

The Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale du Québec has set up the above program, which enables reimbursement of 100% of expenses for eligible employee training and competency improvement activities totalling $100,000 or less and 50% of those between $100,000 and $500,000. The program will remain in effect for the duration of the crisis. The program’s eligibility criteria are expansive, which means many companies can apply for it.

Reimbursable expenses include wages of employees in training up to $25/h, professional trainers, and on-line course registration fees up to $150/h, or the cost of training equipment and supplies. To apply for this aid, contact your Local Employment Centre.

If your company is receiving government subsidies (CEWS and 10% subsidy), the reimbursement will not be up to 100%, but 25 or 90%, depending on the subsidy received.

This program deals with training, which is an ineligible activity under the E-Business tax credit. As a reminder, employees must spend more than 75% of their time on eligible activities to maintain eligibility for the credit.  Under this aid, employees could be excluded from the credit if they spend too much time in training.

Again, Investissement Québec has not announced a decision on the matter. Our advice remains the same for such situations: retain proper documentation in order to prove and support any action taken, if needed. We will communicate any details as soon as we have an official response on the issue from Investissement Québec.

Closing remarks

Since we are currently living through very exceptional and fluid conditions, the programs discussed and information provided in this article could change at any time. Eligibility criteria and approved expenses are equally likely to change.

We ask you to rest assured that Emergex SR&ED Subsidies is closely monitoring the situation and is always on top of any new information put out by the governments that could have a significant impact on your claims. We remain available to support you and secure the highest possible returns in your future tax credit claims, considering any potential emergency aid obtained and the unique situation your business will face.

BREAKING NEWS!! Revenu Quebec speeds up the processing of your SR&ED and E-Business tax credit claims

As experts in financing technology companies, Emergex SR&ED Consultants closely monitors ongoing government announcements concerning business subsidies. In a previous article, we had mentioned the different actions taken by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regarding the processing time of your current Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) and E-Business (CDAE in French) tax credit claims. It is now Revenu Quebec who is changing its processing delays for current claims.

In order to increase the cash flow of businesses, the provincial agency is speeding up the payment of refundable credits. A portion of the SR&ED and E-Business tax credits is thus paid in a very short time without going through the usual examinations. The balance will be paid at a later date after the necessary reviews. So, do not be surprised if you receive a lower-than-expected refund.

Based on information provided to our team, Revenu Quebec pays an initial amount corresponding to 80% of the total amount of refundable credits requested while reserving the right to review the claim at a later date. This allows, in some cases, to accelerate the payment of a portion of the credits by up to five months (i.e. 30 days instead of the usual 180 days).

Our recommendations therefore stay the same. Do not delay the filing of your SR&ED and E-Business claims. You can receive your refunds very quickly, either from the CRA or Revenu Quebec.

As the situation we are experiencing is exceptional and constantly evolving, the information contained in this article may be subject to change. Emergex SR&ED Consultants is closely monitoring the situation and staying apprised of any new information that could significantly impact your claims. We remain at your disposal during this crisis and are ready to answer any questions you may have.

Impacts of government COVID-19 emergency subsidies on your future SR&ED and E-Business tax credit claims

Clavier Covid-19The Government of Canada’s emergency support plan for businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis is quite generous and will benefit a large number of businesses.

We would like to share our first impressions about these government subsidies with our clients, especially as concerns any likely impact the subsidies may have on your future Scientific Development and Experimental Development (SR&ED) and E-Business (CDAE in French for crédit d’impôt aux Affaires Électroniques) tax credit claims. Normally, such subsidies are excluded from tax credit calculations, given that the same salary expenditure cannot be funded by the public sector twice (no “double dipping”, to use this expression popularized by the TV show, Seinfeld).

We therefore believe that this guideline should always be followed when calculating your future tax credits. However, given that exceptional situations call for exceptional emergency measures, a question therefore arises: will the government not also make an exception to this rule in the near future? This is one of several questions we are closely monitoring from the government’s regular announcements.

Before delving too deep into the various subsidies available, we recommend that you keep any emergency aid documents you will receive safe and handy. They will be needed when calculating future SR&ED and CDAE tax credits and could be requested by tax authorities in the event of an audit.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

Under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), eligible employers can request a wage subsidy of 75%, with a maximum weekly limit of $847. Granted for a maximum period of 12 weeks and retroactive from March 15, 2020, this subsidy is aimed at preventing job losses. Eligible employers can apply for the CEWS through the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account portal from April 27 to October 2020.

Eligibility for this program is subject to demonstrable income loss. Depending on the application and reference times, a drop in revenue due to COVID-19 must be shown of at least 15% in March 2020 and at least 30% subsequently. As indicated by the Finance Minister last April 11, processing timelines could range between 3 and 10 days once the application is submitted.

In addition to the 75% wage subsidy, employers are also entitled to claim the total refund of some employment insurance payments and contributions to the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan for eligible employees on paid leave. This reimbursement can be requested concurrently with the CEWS claim for any period during which workers are eligible for paid leave.

If you wish to apply for the CEWS as soon as it opens, but have not yet created a My Business Account, you are advised to create one as soon as possible. This tool has become essential.

10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers

The 10% temporary wage subsidy is a three-month measure (from March 18 to June 19, 2020) enabling eligible employers to reduce payroll deductions payable to the CRA. This grant amounts to 10% of the wage paid for the period cited above, with a maximum of $1,375 per eligible employee and $25,000 per employer. Once the 10% calculation is made, the employer can directly deduct this sum from federal tax deduction remittances at the usual moment for their payment.

However, to be eligible for this subsidy, a very important criterion must be met. A for-profit corporation must be a Canadian-controlled private corporation (CCPC) with a business limit greater than zero over the most recent tax year ending March 18, 2020.

Conclusion: The two subsidies above are government aid and should be subject to the usual tax credit processing. Therefore, the wage subsidy paid to each employee eligible to the SR&ED tax credit should be deducted from the eligible wage when calculating the tax credit at a rate proportional to the time spent on SR&ED activities. The calculation of general costs (commonly known as proxy) remains unchanged since the aid received is deducted only after this calculation.

The overall impact on the tax credit amount could be less than expected. In effect, the CEWS aid carries a limit of $847 per week. This means that for all employees with an annual wage of more than $58,000, only this weekly $847 will be paid. For example, for a resource with up to a 40% SR&ED involvement and an annual wage of over $58,000, the weekly SR&ED deduction shall be $339.

For the E-Business, the entire subsidy received for each employee that will need to be deducted from their wages. For the credit calculation, the eligible wage limit then applies and remains unchanged.

Note further that your company may be eligible for the two subsidies as well as the Work-Sharing Program (to be discussed in our next article). If that is the case, the CEWS will be reduced by the amounts paid or refunded under the 10% temporary wage subsidy and the work-sharing program for the same period. We therefore believe that if a business is eligible for the CEWS, the 10% temporary subsidy would no longer be of interest.

Final Word

Since current conditions are very exceptional and fluid, the subsidies discussed and information provided in this article could change at any time. Eligibility criteria and subsidy rates are equally liable to change.

Rest assured that Emergex SR&ED Subsidies is closely monitoring the situation and is always on top of any new information put out by the governments that could have a significant impact on your claims. We remain available to support you and secure the highest possible returns in your future tax credit claims, considering any potential emergency aid obtained and the unique situation your business will face.

Impacts of COVID-19 on your existing SR&ED and E-Business tax credit claims

Covid-19 KeyboardThese are undoubtedly challenging times for many companies, and we would like to provide our clients with our preliminary observations regarding the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on your existing Scientific Development and Experimental Development (SR&ED) and E-Business (CDAE in French) tax credit claims. As experts in financing technology companies, Emergex SR&ED Subsidies closely monitors ongoing government releases concerning business subsidies.

For starters, regarding delays in the processing of existing applications, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has clearly indicated that the SR&ED program continues to be a priority. To ensure that the highest levels of support are provided to businesses that are neither publicly nor foreign-owned, i.e., Canadian-controlled private corporations (CCPC), processing of their refundable tax credits will be prioritized. For now, no new reviews or audits will be conducted, and those already in progress will be finalized as soon as possible to ensure that businesses receive their credits faster. Nevertheless, applications that are approved during this period could subsequently be reviewed or audited for a posteriori eligibility confirmation.

As for taxpayers, even though rules have been relaxed to allow the deferral of tax payments, the deadlines for SR&ED and E-Business claims remain unchanged. Finally, the onsite visit normally undertaken by Investissement Québec (IQ) following the first E-Business application will now only take place when subsequent claims are made. As a relief measure, IQ will issue tax credit eligibility certificates without the payment of fees which are postponed to a future unspecified date. Finally, Revenu Québec has not announced any changes in how it processes credit applications.

The following are some recommendations we believe you should be following right now:

  1. In the present context, you must not delay filing your SR&ED and E-Business claims! The sooner you file after the end of your financial year, the faster you will receive your refunds. Take advantage of the slowdown in activities to accelerate your cash inflows and boost your working capital.
  2. To facilitate communications with the CRA, we recommend that you create an account at My Business Account as soon as possible. It takes about ten days to complete the account creation process, during which you will receive a code by mail. You will need it for effective communication with the CRA in case of future audits or to apply for  The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. We will soon be putting out an article with details of this program, so watch for our email blasts!
  3. If your business is applying for one or more government aids, we invite you to hold on to all relevant documents, as they will be needed when calculating future SR&ED and E-Business tax credits, and could be requested by tax authorities in the event of an audit. This subject will also be covered in full in a future article we will be putting out.

Finally, since we are currently living through very exceptional and fluid conditions, the information provided in this article could change at any time. We ask you nevertheless to rest assured that Emergex SR&ED Subsidies is closely monitoring the situation and will always be on top of any new information put out by the governments that could have a significant impact on your claims. We remain at your disposal during this crisis and are ready to answer any questions you may have.

Seminar on the financial aspects of the SR&ED program (in French)

  • Is a bonus paid to a specified employee an eligible SR&ED expense?
  • Does your taxable income have an impact on the rate of the tax credits and on your eligibility for a refund?
  • Is the salary of an administrative project manager eligible as a SR&ED expense?
  • How do you structure a contract with a subcontractor or a client to make sure that it can be claimed for SR&ED
  • Is it necessary to own the intellectual property of the finished product to claim SR&ED?
  • Is work done outside Canada eligible for SR&ED?
  • Are SR&ED expenses that have yet to be paid eligible?
  • Can SR&ED tax credits be pre-financed?

If you don’t have the answer to all of those questions, you risk losing your full potential for tax credits.

This event will be held on Wednesday, October 30, 2019, from 8:45 am to noon at Emergex’s head office.

Please note that this event is reserved for our clients and will be held in French. To reserve a spot, contact 514-765-3333 #260.

Because places are limited, Reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

We hope to see you there.

Seminar on the technological aspects of the SR&ED program (in French)

  • Can you claim hours spent for project management, for training or for writing documentation as eligible SR&ED expenses?
  • Do you know how to define the start of a SR&ED project?
  • Must you absolutely use a timesheet system to claim SR&ED?
  • Can you claim work done by a subcontractor?
  • What tools can you use to simplify the collection of data to prepare your SR&ED claim?
  • Do you know what activities are eligible for the SR&ED program?
  • Do you know what your role is in SR&ED?
  • Do you know what inspectors expect?
  • Do you know if a technical resource can automatically be claim in SR&ED?

If you don’t have the answer to all of those questions, you risk losing your full potential for tax credits.

This event will be held on Wednesday, September 25, 2019, from 8:45 am to noon at Emergex’s head office.

Please note that this event is reserved for our clients and will be held in French. To reserve a spot, contact 514-765-3333 #260.

Because places are limited, reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

Seminar: Learn How You Can Recover Up to 65% of Your R&D Expenses

The Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program is Canada’s premier federal government R&D expense recovery program. It approves approx. 3 billion dollars of R&D funding from thousands of companies of various sizes and stages of development in different industries.

The SR&ED program tangibly supports companies who are developing IT/software products and services, including AI and blockchain.

This seminar will review what you need to know, what the eligibility criteria are, and how you can file an optimized and effective claim that can be approved. A case study will review the technology hurdles that one company faced and what their R&D activities and expenses were to overcome the obstacles and achieve progress.

This seminar will be of value to companies that have 3 or more developers involved in R&D.

Purchase tickets here

About our speaker

Mike Evans is Client Manager at Emergex SR&ED Consultants

Mike has held various senior sales and marketing roles in technology companies over the last 25 years. For the last six years, he has worked with Ontario based companies who wanted to learn more about the SR&ED program and needed help with well – written claims.

Mike Evans: mevans@emergex.com Oakville 905 849 3033 ext. 645 or cell 416 697 4110

Haltech’s Finance & Funding Meetup is intended to help entrepreneurs understand finance fundamentals, cash flow management, and discover available funding opportunities. This early-morning meetup takes place in a casual and fun environment with advice provided from locally-sourced financial and funding service professionals.

Seminar on the financial aspects of the SR&ED program (in French)

  • Is a bonus paid to a specified employee an eligible SR&ED expense?
  • Does your taxable income have an impact on the rate of the tax credits and on your eligibility for a refund?
  • Is the salary of an administrative project manager eligible as a SR&ED expense?
  • How do you structure a contract with a subcontractor or a client to make sure that it can be claimed for SR&ED
  • Is it necessary to own the intellectual property of the finished product to claim SR&ED?
  • Is work done outside Canada eligible for SR&ED?
  • Are SR&ED expenses that have yet to be paid eligible?
  • Can SR&ED tax credits be pre-financed?

If you don’t have the answer to all of those questions, you risk losing your full potential for tax credits.

This event will be held on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, from 9 am to noon at Emergex’s head office.

Please note that this event is reserved for our clients and will be held in French. To reserve a spot, contact 514-765-3333 #260.

Because places are limited, Reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

We hope to see you there.

Seminar on the technological aspects of the SR&ED program (in French)

  • Can you claim hours spent for project management, for training or for writing documentation as eligible SR&ED expenses?
  • Do you know how to define the start of a SR&ED project?
  • Must you absolutely use a timesheet system to claim SR&ED?
  • Can you claim work done by a subcontractor?
  • What tools can you use to simplify the collection of data to prepare your SR&ED claim?
  • Do you know what activities are eligible for the SR&ED program?
  • Do you know what your role is in SR&ED?
  • Do you know what inspectors expect?
  • Do you know if a technical resource can automatically be claim in SR&ED?

If you don’t have the answer to all of those questions, you risk losing your full potential for tax credits.

This event will be held on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, from 9 am to noon at Emergex’s head office.

Please note that this event is reserved for our clients and will be held in French. To reserve a spot, contact 514-765-3333 #260.

Because places are limited, reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

Seminar on the financial aspects of the SR&ED program (in French)

  • Is a bonus paid to a specified employee an eligible SR&ED expense?
  • Does your taxable income have an impact on the rate of the tax credits and on your eligibility for a refund?
  • Is the salary of an administrative project manager eligible as a SR&ED expense?
  • How do you structure a contract with a subcontractor or a client to make sure that it can be claimed for SR&ED
  • Is it necessary to own the intellectual property of the finished product to claim SR&ED?
  • Is work done outside Canada eligible for SR&ED?
  • Are SR&ED expenses that have yet to be paid eligible?
  • Can SR&ED tax credits be pre-financed?

If you don’t have the answer to all of those questions, you risk losing your full potential for tax credits.

This event will be held on Wednesday, February 13th 2019, from 9 am to noon at Emergex’s head office.

Please note that this event is reserved for our clients and will be held in French. To reserve a spot, contact Stefania at 514-765-3333 #780.

Because places are limited, Reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

We hope to see you there.

Testimonials

 

Louis Côté, Hint innovation

Louis Côté, Hint innovation

I am especially impressed that you could do so much, in terms of both quantity and accuracy, based solely on our few hours of discussion!