Frequently Asked Questions
What is Braithwaite’s Reputation?
Bruce Braithwaite has been providing SR&ED tax credit advisory services for more than twenty years, and has overseen the compilation of more than 10,000 claims. His commitment and the commitment of all members of the firm, to honesty in preparing claims are well recognized in the tax community. The firm has a policy of only submitting claims for projects and costs that are eligible for approval. This is preferable to a “try it and see” approach to selecting projects and determining costs. Braithwaite’s approach and reputation works for the benefit of the client, smoothing the compliance and related review process.
Is Braithwaite a firm of financial or technical consultants?
Braithwaite is staffed with full time technical, financial and taxation consultants. Many of its competitors are either accountants, with limited taxation and technical capabilities, or scientists, with limited accounting and taxation capability, or taxation specialists, with limited technical capability. Strong service offerings on both the financial, taxation and technical side enables Braithwaite to control the quality of the entire claim process resulting in an outsourcing of the entire process from a single source.
What kind of backgrounds do your technical consultants have?
Braithwaite’s technical consultants are well trained, and are perhaps the most experienced in the business. They work for Braithwaite on a full time basis. The Company has consultants with graduate degrees and with work experience in information technology, physics, chemistry, geophysics, biopharma, mining and oil and gas. Braithwaite also has mechanical, electrical, automotive and civil engineers on staff. Four of the firm’s technical consultants are ex-CRA claim reviewers. They are well trained in financial and technical aspects of making claims. The Company publishes regular updates on SR&ED advisory matters, to keep its consultants current with changes in the law.
Based on past Braithwaite experience, consultants need to experience the completion of 100 claims, to develop a good knowledge of the process, and to be able to accurately identify eligible projects. A consultant also has to keep up with changes in the law and CRA policy. This type of experience only comes from a full time commitment to providing SR&ED advisory services, with a firm that has a commitment to keeping consultants up to date with the latest changes in law and policy.
Are your accountants experienced with the program?
It takes Braithwaite about two years to train an experienced accountant to effectively apply costs to SR&ED activities and to calculate tax credits. A significant degree of complexity has evolved in the rules that are applied in determining the costs of SR&ED activities, and whether a corporation is eligible for a refundable tax credit. Costing rules and policies change on a regular basis. SR&ED legislation is amended one or two times a year, new court decisions on costing issues and new CRA application policy papers are released throughout each year. It takes a specialist to deal with these rules and policies.
Will I be able to do my claim without help in the future?
Our approach is to allow our clients to look over our shoulders as we move through the compilation of a claim. We keep our process transparent so our clients obtain an understanding of filing procedures. We start our work with a review of the rules, face to face with one person in a smaller organization, and as a more formal seminar in a larger organization. Clients are given copies of all submissions and other correspondence, and their accounting people oversee the costing and tax return preparation process. Nothing is filed until the client has approved it. Our clients are in a position that if they want, they can do their own claim after they have been through the process once or twice with us.
What is your success rate?
Braithwaite’s claims result in a refund in more than 99% of the cases. Our engagement process involves a number of steps, the most important being the identification of SR&ED projects occurring within an organization. With its strong technical base, Braithwaite has the ability to predict on a very accurate basis, the likelihood of whether a project qualifies for SR&ED tax credits. In an environment where about 50% of all claims filed are turned down or reduced for lack of technical content, the ability to predict outcome avoids time wasting exercises and significantly increases customer satisfaction.
How large is Braithwaite?
We are large enough to make assistance available on short notice. With thirty nine individuals, Braithwaite has the resources necessary to support all aspect of a claim. We work with some of the largest corporations in Canada.
Do you have national exposure?
Braithwaite has national exposure, having worked in every province in Canada. Braithwaite has the ability to deliver its services in French and English.
Are you linked to an accounting firm?
Braithwaite is not linked to a chartered accountancy (CA) firm. Braithwaite benefits from the lack of accounting firm linkage in the referrals it receives from other CA firms, and the non-threatening relationship it generally enjoys with our client’s CA firm during the course of our engagements.
Is confidentiality guaranteed?
Braithwaite guarantees client confidentiality in writing before commencing each engagement.