The FTCAS and Your SR&ED Claim

The CRA introduced the FTCAS – the First-Time Claimant Advisory Service – for the SR&ED tax credit back in 2014. This program is a mandatory and free discussion for all first-time claimants that must be attended after claiming the credit. The idea was for the discussion to help assist all applicants to understand what components are needed in the claim and better prepare future SR&ED claims. 

Once you submit your first ever SR&ED claim, the CRA will initially contact you about attending the FTCAS via phone or email and following the discussion, the client is approved for their SR&ED claim – pending the usual review process. During this discussion, they go over the tax credit and ask questions regarding your technical projects and the costing analysis used. These questions are sent to you ahead of time so you have a chance to prepare your answers. Prior to COVID-19, this discussion was held in person at your company and could take an entire day to complete. Nowadays, it’s done through the socially distanced convenience of phone or video chat.

If you use an SR&ED tax credit company to help prepare your claim, such as ourselves here at Swanson Reed, we can often help you prepare answers to the questions for this discussion. The CRA will permit attendance of SR&ED consultants but will not allow them to speak in the discussion. They want to hear directly from the company, so reviewing and understanding the SR&ED process and how your projects fit in is key.

While an extra step, the CRA uses the FTCAS to ensure you and your company understand the process and have a better idea of how to keep records and substantiation documentation for future claims. 

Who We Are:

Swanson Reed is one of Canada’s largest Specialist SR&ED tax advisory firms. We manage all facets of the SR&ED tax credit program, from claim preparation and audit compliance to claim disputes.

If you would like to find out more about how your business could benefit from R&D Tax Credit, contact a Swanson Reed R&D Tax Advisor today.

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