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How Much Money Are You Leaving On The Table?

Elaine Garnet - SR&ED Engineering Consultant of BDO Canada

 Elaine has over 12 years of technical writing experience working in both the private and government sectors.  Her expertise in technical documentation has spanned both the social and physical sciences.  For example, she contributed to an Alberta Government team by researching and writing a published document on the population distribution policies of various developed countries.  Other published reports include sand and gravel resource inventories for the Ontario Geological Survey and a manual for remote mining equipment. 

During the last 11 years, Elaine successfully ran her own consulting business, partnering with small accounting and engineering firms to provide Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) services for a wide range of technology sectors including manufacturing, animal husbandry, agriculture, machining, tool and die, viticulture, and many others.

With her background in the social and physical sciences and her SR&ED expertise, Elaine is often the first to ask the why's and how's of any technology.  Her diverse background, experience and innate curiosity have enabled her to develop and support claims that have maximized tax returns to the client.  Her clients appreciated her SR&ED comprehension and frequently mentioned how they looked forward to dealing with her again on the next claim.

Education and Professional Designations:

  • Diploma Mechanical Engineering, Conestoga College, Kitchener, Ontario
  • B.Sc. – Science, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario
  • MA – Geography, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta
  • BA (with distinction) – Geography, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta

About the Presentation

As agriculture becomes increasingly competitive, agricultural businesses are under pressure to be more innovative. Through tax credits, the federal government’s Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program rewards Canadian businesses that are forward thinking and who develop new or improved products or processes. Many farmers, ranchers and businesses that service the agricultural sector are already taking part in what could be considered qualifying research and development activities, including breeding, nutrition, disease control, custom equipment development, and waste management.

However, in order to obtain the tax benefits from these research and development, you must make a claim. The main question when applying the SR&ED rules is determining whether a specific activity qualifies as scientific research or experimental development. You could be eligible for a tax credit if you are developing a new product or process, if you are improving an existing product or process, or if you are developing improvements that will lessen the environmental impact of your agricultural operation, such as reducing pollution or waste.

Elaine Garnet, SR&ED Engineering Consultant with the Red Deer Office of BDO Canada, will explain the SR&ED tax credit program as it applies to agricultural businesses. You will learn what constitutes SR&ED as defined in the Income Tax Act of Canada, who qualifies and the qualification criteria, as well as what a typical SR&ED project cycle looks like. Since the presentation is geared towards the agricultural sector, several examples of actual or potential SR&ED projects will be mentioned, such as those for greenhouses, farm equipment, and genetic projects. Included in this discussion are the types of activities that can be included in a SR&ED claim and those that are excluded.

Identifying eligible costs is a big part of the claim structure and Elaine will explain what can be claimed in terms of current expenditures, capital expenditures and overhead. It is also important to know what cannot be claimed and these items will be outlined.

Elaine will also explain the available SR&ED benefits as determined by your business structure. For example, Canadian controlled private corporations (CCPCs) can receive a 35% investment tax credit (ITC) for the first $3 million in qualified expenditures and a 20% ITC on any excess amount. Other Canadian corporations, proprietorships, partnerships and trusts, receive a 20% ITC. Most provinces offer additional incentives for qualifying activities and Alberta is no exception, adding an additional 10% ITC. A quick example of a SR&ED ITC calculation will be explained.

Finally, Elaine will briefly discuss how BDO SR&ED tax credit consulting services work in a timely manner to collect the project data, both technical and financial, develop the claim structure by writing the reports, managing the T661 filings and managing interactions with the Canada revenue Agency.  
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