Braithwaite Canada is thrilled to have CRA conducting the first-time claimant advisory service (FTCAS) again, since the COVID-19 stay at home orders. The FTCAS was designed to educate first time filers of the SR&ED program as well as highlight some points on what the company is doing right or needs to improve when filing. Since we are currently dealing with COVID-19, there are many changes to the original FTCAS procedure. Below are some changes that companies should be aware of:

  • Since many CRA employees are working remotely (government offices are closed), companies will be contacted by the CRA reviewer through email or cell phone. This is not a scam, as the reviewer will verify themselves in both instances. The CRA reviewer will also ask you for permission to speak to them and notify you that nothing can be encrypted as the reviewer is not in a CRA office.
  • The FTCAS will be held via a video chat. The video chat should be no longer than two hours in length, where the reviewer will discuss the SR&ED program as well as any project questions relating to the SR&ED claim.
  • Multiple people from your company can call into the video chat as everyone does not need to be present at one location. This is welcoming news as a Braithwaite Technical Consultant can attend to assist.

Braithwaite Canada will continue to monitor any further changes to the FTCAS, as well as any other reviews that may come up for an SR&ED filing.