Re-Energize Tax Based Support for Innovation
CRA’s management made changes to the SR&ED interpretive and management practices without proper due diligence and consultation with impacted groups and apparently not with the Government itself. As a result, we have lost much of the impact and benefits of this innovation incentive program (CATAAlliance)
Ottawa, ON…CATAAlliance, Canada’s One Voice for innovation lobby group, is now advancing the second part of its “PRESS the RESET BUTTON Campaign” calling for the federal government to restore, modernize and re-energize their tax based support for innovation. More than $5.3 billion were lost in 7 years from 2009 to 2016. The new Campaign reflects the CATA mission to boost Canada’s ranking as the number one Competitive Innovation Nation.
The SR&ED review announced in the 2017 Budget is in the development phase. It has been placed under the direction of Finance with the input of the PMO (Office of the Prime Minister) and the other organizations in the innovation portfolio. CATA has already tabled with the Government the details of what our community tells us is needed to achieve a credible review; and an invigorated system of innovation tax support. This includes a call for an independent administrator for all government tax incentives for innovation and an overhaul of those same incentives to make sure taxpayer dollars are as effective incentives as possible for the growth of innovative business – not simply R&D.
CATA CEO, John Reid, said, “ We believe that the federal government needs to seriously rethink its public policies and start to implement best practices that will truly stimulate Canadian business growth, entrepreneurship and innovation. CRA’s management made changes to the SR&ED interpretive practices without proper due diligence and consultation with impacted groups and apparently not with the Government itself. As a result, we have lost the full impact and benefits of this innovation incentive program. “
According to CATA Sr. VP of Advocacy, Tax & Finance, Russ Roberts, a 30 year public policy veteran, “ The government has taken more than $5.3 billion out of the system (see video) in the past years with little, if any, public debate and certainly no legislative changes. Businesses that invested in good faith found themselves denied claims that, in prior years, would have been paid.”
Roberts said, “ Instead of admitting that they supported the previous government’s cuts, the new government announced an “innovation fund” that represents only a quarter of what was lost as a result of these changes.”
He added, “The CRA’s application policies need to be consistent with the public policy of the Government and developed through open, transparent processes that truly test and capture the intent of the legislation. The CATA community believes that a more effective system of tax support for innovation is critical for the sector and that the fumbles encountered with the tax reform proposals cannot be repeated during the review of SR&ED announced in the last budget. The Government really needs to re-establish its credibility.”
Speaking for CATA’s Innovation Leadership Council, Reid said, “ We’ve got an opportunity to learn from the Government’s recent contentious consultation on tax reform and the problems the Government encountered due to the CRA’s unilateral development of new policy and its impact on the community.”
Reid concluded, ” The Liberal government has finally made some welcomed tax policy changes this week after fierce nationwide opposition and has acknowledged issues with the CRA. Consultations for developing and testing tax proposals need to be fact-based, transparent, and include an informed discussion of how to best support the growth of our innovative businesses. And, tax based reform needs to be holistically applied against a genuine Plan to advance Canada’s innovation and competitiveness rankings. We are asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to PRESS the RESET BUTTON. ”
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The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance) is Canada’s One Voice for Innovation Lobby Group, and is crowdsourcing ideas and guidance from thousands of opt in members in moderated social networks in Canada and key global markets. (No Tech Firm Left Behind)