Pros and Cons of CCPCs vs. non-CCPCs: A SR&ED Showdown

Picture the SR&ED tax credit program as the Canada’s innovation arena. In one corner, we have Canadian controlled private corporations (CCPCs) and in the other, non-CCPCs. They’re both scrappy, they both pack a punch, but they each have their unique strengths and strategies when it comes to claiming SR&ED tax credits. So, lace up your boots, put on your game face, and let’s dive into the advantages and disadvantages of CCPCs, non-CCPCs, and SR&ED tax credits. 

CCPCs and SR&ED: A Winning Combination

CCPCs, those cosy, privately owned outfits controlled by Canadian residents, have some significant muscle in the SR&ED ring. They’re the small, agile fighters that pack a powerful punch when it comes to claiming SR&ED tax credits.

Enhanced Tax Credit Rates

Their secret weapon? Access to higher tax credit rates. Imagine a CCPC strutting around the ring, flexing a whopping 35% refundable tax credit on the first $3 million of qualifying SR&ED expenditures. That’s a heavy-weight advantage compared to the lightweight 15% non-refundable tax credit that non-CCPCs have to make do with.  

Refundability of Tax Credits

The fun doesn’t stop there. CCPCs also have the benefit of refundability of their SR&ED tax credits. If the tax credits exceed their tax liability, CCPCs can treat themselves to a refund, which is like a ringside water break in the middle of an intense match. Non-CCPCs, on the other hand, can only use their tax credits to offset tax liabilities and must soldier on without the luxury of a refreshment break. 

Carryforward and Carryback Provisions

To top it off, CCPCs can carry forward tax credits for up to 20 years or carry them back three years, a tactical flexibility akin to a boxer’s nimble footwork. Non-CCPCs, alas, are stuck with less fancy footwork as they only get to carry back their tax credits for one year. 

Non-CCPCs and SR&ED: Unlocking Value

Non-CCPCs might look like they’re on the ropes, but don’t be fooled. These include public corporations, foreign-controlled private corporations, and partnerships. And they’ve got a few moves of their own. 

Broader Eligibility for Expenditures

Non-CCPCs don’t have to adhere to the $3 million expenditure limit that their CCPC counterparts do. They’re the heavyweights in the ring, swinging for big R&D budgets and knocking out bigger chunks of tax credits on their expenses.  

Collaboration Opportunities

More than just solo fighters, non-CCPCs, especially those that are foreign-owned or have international partnerships, can tag-team with other entities on SR&ED projects. These collaborations give them access to expertise and resources, bolstering their R&D efforts.  

Tips for Maximizing SR&ED Benefits

Whether you’re a CCPC or a non-CCPC, some good old-fashioned discipline (think maintaining thorough documentation and keeping abreast of changes to the SR&ED program) can take you a long way in maximizing your SR&ED tax credit benefits. Don’t shy away from seeking advice from experts and exploring collaboration opportunities, because, in the SR&ED ring, every advantage counts. 


The SR&ED tax credit program is the high-stakes match between CCPCs and non-CCPCs. Both offer knockout incentives that drive Canadian innovation across industries. By knowing the advantages and disadvantages and playing to them, you can pack a punch in the SR&ED ring, boosting your R&D efforts and contributing to Canada’s economic growth. Whether you’re a spry CCPC or a hulking non-CCPC, the SR&ED program can be your cornerman, cheering you on in your organization’s innovation journey. 


Do you have a SRED question? Planning for the future or perhaps you want to know how much your claim might be? Don’t worry, our CPA is always ready to answer any question. Get a SRED expert in your corner.

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