Time for an SR&ED tune up

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By Peter Kemball

For a quarter of a century, the Canadian government has operated a popular program that puts cash in the pockets of innovative firms and reduces taxes for others, the Scientific Research and Experimental Development program, popularly called “SHRED.” It’s now time for a tune-up and recently the feds invited submissions from any and all interested parties on how to improve the program.

For this they deserve praise, do they not? Well, yes and no.

Yes, if they are fortunate enough to receive thoughtful commentary and perhaps even innovative suggestions to make the product of greater value to customers, small innovative firms. No, if their follow though is inept. Expectations have been raised that suggestions will come to the attention of open minds. Now that we’re past the submission deadline of November 30, how are officials and politicians going to demonstrate respect for the time and effort invested by those submitting commentary? One step they can take is to post to a web site the submissions for which they received permission to do so. Here speed is of great value and a week or two after receipt, the postings should be up for all to review. Better yet, the comments of those officials reading the submissions should be publicly posted to seek further feedback.

We at Acorn Partners submitted our thoughts to the review process and in subsequent posts, I’ll share some of our thinking with you.

Peter Kemball is CEO and founder at Acorn Partners, an innovative firm that helps B2B SMEs finance their success.

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