SR&ED refundable tax credits and financing r&d are in the news a lot these days. Things seem to be always changing, sometimes in a big way, sometimes less. The one constant? SR&ED Financing! It's always there - always available. Let's dig in.
What is The SRED CREDIT?
Sometimes called ' Shred Credits ' they are one of Canada's most accessible, popular, and widely used incentive programs under the auspices of Canada Revenue Agency, allowing you to claim for either a cash grant or in some cases a deduction against income taxes owing. R&D capital investments use up cash flow resources, so collateralizing your sr&ed claim makes a lot of sense when other traditional sources of financing are not available.
Corporations that are in need of liquidity cannot afford to wait until the end of the fiscal year to receive payment of refundable tax credits. For this reason, lenders offer sred funding, an advance (or loan) to eligible corporations, while using the future receipt of the SR&ED refundable tax credits as collateral.
In the majority of cases, you are eligible for amounts in the 35-40% range of your total expenditures. The amount of that refund can go over 5O% when your Sred Consultant and accountant, typically working in combination, take advantage of both the federal and provincial parts of the program.
At 7 Park Avenue Financial we can't overemphasize the role of ensuring your have an experienced and reputable sr&ed consultant preparing your claim . Their track records and reputations are invaluable both in the financing process as well as the CRA audit process for sred.
The formal name of the program is ' Scientific Research and Experimental Development ' , hence ' SR&ED ' ! It is one of the most popular government programs vie encouraging firms to conduct r&d in Canada, as well as providing refundable tax credits for those investments made by your firm.
Why a Sred Loan ? SR&ED Debt Finance
Simply because its a method of allowing you to use your refund owing, which is essentially an account receivable, as a source of operating cash in the same manner in which any company would finance their receivables via either a bank or a commercial a/r financing firm. It's a good example of ' specialty financing '. Note that this does not involve government grants, or grant financing - that's a whole different category of accessing funding from the government.
Essentially you are unlocking the value of your tax credit, which is, in fact, a real asset on your balance sheet, although many companies we have worked with sometimes do not book that as a receivable.
Companies using the Sred program tend to always be looking for business growth capital. Most but not all are early stage companies looking to commercialize their products and services. Just the ability to finance their r&d prior to their claim filing is appealing to firms who are always looking to generate cash. Many firms are in new or emerging sectors such as digital medial , environment, biotech, etc but firms in every industry utilize SR&ED. Accessing traditional financing is very challenging for many of the firms involved in SRED, and going the equity raise route is both time consuming and even moreso, costly!
Claimants under the program may be surprised to know that if your firm has ongoing multi-year activity in research you can set up a Sred Line Of Credit, allowing you to accrue and then finance ongoing work. Here is where a track record in' Shred ', as well as a good consultant, is important. Also, your claim can be financed before filing with the proper level of due diligence around claim content.
We can make the case that SR&ED finance is really SRED factoring, namely the factoring of your sred receivable. And as we have mentioned elsewhere, owners should consider sred accrual financing allowing you to accelerate cash flow.
The challenge around receivables of course is ' waiting for payment '! Historically the timing around SRED REFUNDS has been a major point of discussion and is one of the reasons why a SR&ED FINANCING COMPANY is often utilized to monetize your tax credit. Depending on the size of your claim, the technical aspects around it a firm can easily wait for many months to receive their refund.
Another issue around the timing of claims is that your claim is filed by your accountant and Sr&ed consultant, typically working together, at the time of your year-end tax filing. You can see that it could add a further delay to payment by the government to your firm.
KEY POINT: A SRED CLAIM can often be financed and funded in just a few weeks if you are working with expert help and someone who has a track record of financing success in the tax credit area.
Although many business people use the term ' loan ' when it comes to this type of debt facility, SR&ED financing brings no debt to the balance sheet, you are just monetizing your claim as a manner of advanced funding.
Utilizing SRED TAX CREDITS is simply an additional source of funding for many companies, many of which are new, emerging, and even startups. Although many firms are technology companies almost every industry is eligible for SRED CREDITS based on their commitment to r&d. It's all about growing their business.
New clients at 7 Park Avenue Financial always want to know if they are in fact eligible for SRED CREDITS. If your business is what is known as CCPC, essentially meaning a private, not public company and you are doing qualified experimental research to develop your products you are eligible.
Industry statistics around SR&ED tell us that in the last 7 years payouts on SR&ED claims have reduced by over 5 Billion dollars - suffice to say billions are still being paid on thousands of current claims. The government seems to be asking anyone with interest to provide guidance on the future of the program. Canada Revenue Agency provides great information on the CRA website on both the qualifications around your claim and overall eligibility.
All of that information essentially comes down to 3 issues - Is your firm investing in r&d capital to advance technologically, are their uncertainties in your research, and has the research become a process whereby technical challenges are overcome
Talk about uncertainty! Business owners hate uncertainty. Who doesn’t? The one constant in SRED? Cash Flowing Your Claim!
SR & ED (SR ED) factoring is a viable consideration for any Canadian company that files SR ED claims and is looking for additional working capital. Not all Canadian business owners and financial managers are aware that SR ED claims can be monetized (financed!).
For an overview of SR ED financing, it’s important for us to validate some of the basics -
-Have you filed an SR ED CLAIM?
-How much was the dollar amount of the claim?
-Who prepared the claim?
-What amount of cash or working capital do you need in conjunction with the claim filed?
If you are looking for cash flow with respect to your Canadian SR ED claim you either have working capital financing in place now with your bank or finance firm (a factoring company perhaps) or your firm is self-financing and you are looking for the SR ED to supplement additional cash flow. Risk capital /equity capital and Canadian venture capital is challenging to raise in Canada . Financing r&d makes a lot of sense.
Canadian business owners and financial managers are aware that when they finance their receivables and inventory these 'current assets' are 'margined'. By margining we of course mean the amount of funds you can borrow against these assets.
In SR ED financing you are generally financed 70% of your claim, and that is the combined total of the Federal and Provincial claim.
So if you have filed an SR ED claim, of say, for example, $350,000.00 you are eligible for 70% of that amount, or $245,000.00
Funds can be advanced as soon as you have filed the claim, but not before. Naturally, it is somewhat important to ensure your claim was filed by a qualified party - usually an accounting firm or consultant. It's these consultants that are in the field daily on the program, wresting with all sorts of changes around Form 4088! ... Defining and backing up your project.
SR ED financing is outside your normal current financing arrangements. The SR ED is collateralized separately - it is, in essence, a short term working capital loan that is repaid when the government sends you your cheque. Most Canadian business owners do not want to wait, 3, 6, 12 months or more for a cheque for a substantial amount that is in effect a non-repayable grant from the government. The Canadian government continues to pour well in excess of a billion dollars into the program, and if your firm qualifies for an SR ED claim -
1. Why wouldn’t you use the program?
2. Why wouldn’t you accelerate the cash flow from the grant by financing your SR ED claim?
SR ED financing is a boutique small industry in Canada - business owners are cautioned to work with a qualified, credible, and experience party who will ensure they are maximizing financing capabilities under the program. Naturally, any firm can wait for its refund , but using the cash from financing your claim allows you to move on to new opportunities in your business, including even more investments in r&d.
Typically companies investing in research are in highly competitive industries, and rather than considering external equity this type of financing is simply one way of increasing value and time to market without the dilution of additional ownership to your company. Utilizing internal cash resources in the early stage of growth allows you to increase the value of your firm at a later point.
Companies financing their r&d claims use funds for a variety of reasons - that might include further research, general working capital purposes, marketing, new employee hires, or geographical expansion.
How Does The SR&ED Financing Application Process Work
Business owners and their financial mgr's should view the financing process as the most simple of loan applications. A minimum amount of the claim is typically $100,000.00. With a client's full cooperation we have had clients financing in plays in a week or two, sometimes sooner. Typical loan amounts are in the 70% range based on your total claim. Simple business application information applies, ie years in business, articles of incorporation, etc,
No payments are made for the duration of the financing! The loan interest accrues and is deducted from the final payment by the government of your claim . Your current lender security stays in place, and significantly less emphasis is paid to typical bank focus on personal guarantees, net worth of principals, etc. A track record in previous SR&ED claims is helpful, but not necessary, and firm time claimants may apply to fund their claims.
It should not come as a surprise that certain other refundable tax credit programs can also be financed, they include:
Digital Multimedia Tax Credits
Film Tax Credits in Many Canadian Provinces
In summary, Canadian firms that are eligible to file an SR ED claim should do so. What firm would not want to receive a cash non-repayable cheque from Ottawa! If you can wait for the funding, and don’t need additional cash flow, great. That's why sred tax credit loans make sense.
If you wish to arrange interim financing for your claim enlist the services of a trusted and credible SR ED financier. In a matter of a couple of weeks, your working capital and cash flow will be augmented vis a vis your SR ED financing. SR ED Financing and factoring - a great Canadian alternative financing strategy
7 Park Avenue Financial :
South Sheridan Executive Centre
2910 South Sheridan Way
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7 Park Avenue Financial provides value-added financing consultation for small and medium-sized businesses in the areas of cash flow, working capital, and debt financing.
Business financing for Canadian firms, specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing, Equipment Leasing, franchise finance and Cdn. Tax Credit Finance. Founded 2004 - Completed in excess of 100 Million $ of financing for Canadian corporations.
Stan has had a successful career with some of the world’s largest and most successful corporations. He is an experienced
business financing consultant.
Prior to founding 7 Park Avenue Financial in 2004 his employers over the last 25 years were, ASHLAND OIL, ( 1977-1980) DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CORPORATION, ( 1980-1990) ) CABLE & WIRELESS PLC,( 1991 -1993) ) AND HEWLETT PACKARD ( 1994-2004 ) He is an expert in Canadian Business Financing.
Stan has over 40 years of business and financing experience. He has been recognized as a credit/financial executive for three of the largest technology companies in the world; Hewlett-Packard, Digital Equipment and Cable & Wireless. Stan has had in-depth, hands-on experience in assessing and evaluating thousands of companies that are seeking financing and expansion. He has been instrumental in helping many companies progress through every phase of financing, mergers & acquisitions, sales and marketing and human resources. Stan has worked with startups and public corporations and has many times established the financial wherewithal of organizations before approving millions of dollars of financing facilities and instruments on behalf of his employers.
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