Programs & Services
Research & Development Tax Credit
The Saskatchewan Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit is designed to encourage private-sector R&D investment in Saskatchewan. It is available at a rate of 15 per cent of qualifying R&D expenditures incurred by corporations in Saskatchewan.
For qualifying R&D expenditures made after March 31, 2012, the R&D Tax Credit is:
For all qualifying R&D expenditures made between March 19, 2009 and March 31, 2012, the R&D Tax Credit was fully refundable for all corporations. For qualifying expenditures made before March 19, 2009, the tax credit was non-refundable and could be used to reduce Saskatchewan Corporation Income Tax (CIT) otherwise payable.
Saskatchewan introduced the R&D Tax Credit in the 1998-99 Budget as a non-refundable credit against Saskatchewan CIT otherwise payable, to encourage private-sector corporations to invest in research and development and the expansion of knowledge-based industries in the province.
The Saskatchewan R&D Tax Credit is available to all corporations filing a T2 CIT return and having a permanent establishment in Saskatchewan. It is equal to 15 per cent of all eligible expenditures on scientific research and experimental development incurred in the province.
For qualifying expenditures made after March 19, 1998 and before March 19, 2009, the R&D Tax Credit is non-refundable. It may only be used to reduce current-year Saskatchewan CIT otherwise payable. Companies that are unable to utilize the credit in the current year can choose to either renounce it or apply it to another taxation year. Carryforward provisions allow corporations to carry their unused credits back up to three taxation years or forward up to ten taxation years. Tax credits may be carried through trusts and partnerships, and through certain corporate wind-ups and amalgamations, but cannot be carried back to predecessor corporations.
For qualifying expenditures made between March 19, 2009 and March 31, 2012, the R&D Tax Credit was fully refundable for all corporations, and may be used to reduce Saskatchewan CIT and other tax liabilities and/or to create a tax refund.
For qualifying R&D expenditures incurred on or after April 1, 2012, the 15 per cent R&D Tax Credit continues to be refundable for Canadian-controlled private corporations, subject to a maximum annual limit of $3 million in qualifying expenditures. Qualifying expenditures in excess of this annual limit, as well as all qualifying expenditures by other corporations, are eligible for a 15 per cent non-refundable R&D Tax Credit. Non-refundable tax credits earned in a year can be applied against Saskatchewan CIT otherwise payable for that year or in any of the subsequent ten taxation years (or the previous three taxation years).
Definition of Research & Development
Eligible activity for the purposes of the Saskatchewan R&D Tax Credit is determined by reference to the definition of "scientific research and experimental development" in subsection 248(1) of the federal Income Tax Act. It is defined as systematic investigation or search that is carried out in a field of science or technology by means of experiment or analysis and that is:
Subsection 248(1) further includes in the definition of scientific research and experimental development work undertaken by or on behalf of the taxpayer with respect to engineering, design, operations research, mathematical analysis, computer programming, data collection, testing or psychological research, where the work is commensurate with the needs, and directly in support of, basic research, applied research or experimental development that is undertaken in Canada by or on behalf of the taxpayer.
Finally, subsection 248(1) excludes from the definition of scientific research and experimental development work with respect to market research or sales promotion; quality control or routine testing of materials, devices, products or processes; research in the social sciences or the humanities; prospecting, exploring or drilling for, or producing, minerals, petroleum or natural gas; the commercial production of a new or improved material, device or product or the commercial use of a new or improved process; style changes; or, routine data collection.
Definition of Eligible Expenses
Eligible expenses for the purposes of the Saskatchewan R&D Tax Credit are determined by reference to the definition of "qualified expenditures" in subsection 127(9) of the federal Income Tax Act. Qualified expenditures are further defined to include amounts described in subsection 37(1)(a) and subsection 37(1)(b)(l) of the federal Act. This includes amounts incurred in respect of eligible salaries and wages and eligible capital property.
The Saskatchewan R&D Tax Credit is administered by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on behalf of Saskatchewan under the Canada-Saskatchewan Tax Collection Agreement. Under the terms of this agreement, definitions in the federal Income Tax Act apply for the purposes of the Saskatchewan R&D Tax Credit. As such, official rulings on the Saskatchewan R&D Tax Credit can be provided only by CRA.
The Saskatchewan R&D Tax Credit may be claimed by including with the annual T2 CIT return a completed Schedule 403 describing all eligible expenditures and the total credit claimed. The amount of the credit should be recorded on line 631 in Part 2 of Schedule 5, and then included as part of total net provincial taxes payable on line 760 of the T2 return. Copies of all returns and schedules are available from CRA Tax Services Offices or the CRA website.