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CATAAlliance demands feds ‘return’ $4.2B of clawed back SR&ED incentives


November 22, 2016  


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CATAAlliance, which bills itself as “Canada’s One Voice for Innovation Lobby Group” has called on the federal government to return $4.2 billion of ‘clawed back’ SR&ED incentives as part a new innovation plan to build Canada as a global Centre of Innovation, and has also renewed the call for a new agency to manage the delivery of innovation incentives.

To support CATA’s call to action, the Alliance tabled an eight-page research document, prepared by a team led by CATA senior vice president Russ Roberts and research director Catherine Bishop.

The document points to the “CRA’s new, restrictive interpretive and administrative policies even though the Agency continues to maintain that there has been no change in policy. On the other hand, the courts indicate that there is significant divergence between some of the CRA’s policies and approaches and what the courts see as appropriate for an incentive program.”

According to Roberts, “we continue to favour tax-based mechanisms over direct support to incent firms because any company performing eligible R&D activity based on objective criteria earns the tax credit and enjoys the freedom to define innovation free of government bureaucracy.”

He added, “Canada needs to commercialize whatever is produced free of government directives or intervention.”

CATA CEO John Reid, added that in his mini budget, “finance minister Morneau spoke to the creation of a new Invest in Canada hub to promote Canada as a good place to invest. Without getting our own house in order with clear incentive policies and effective hassle free administration, the compelling case for companies to locate here and grow here, may ring hollow and stifle the creation of Canada as a global Centre for Innovation.”