If you think about it, though, despite all of the flurry of activity around claim review process, policy and guidance documents, and so on … I haven’t yet heard about anything that represents a substantive change to the Income Tax Act (or regulations) and the real bones of the SR&ED program. If anything, there appears to be a real, renewed determination on the part of the CRA to get more traction out of the content of the jurisprudence related to Northwest Hydraulic Consultants Ltd., and the definitions surrounding it.
Does all of this fuss amount to the equivalent of a new coat of paint and some new shutters, applied on top of an old house?
Probably not. I think it’s more than that … but we’ll have to wait and see.
When is a consultation really a consultation? When somebody’s actually listening, and paying attention. We won’t know for sure until the dust settles, though clearly current trends are not promising. In the absence of constructive change, consultation may well be another political charade: more smoke and mirrors. That would be a shame.