Rob Farrow, CPA, CGA

Mobile 604.992.3420

Email rob.farrow@suttoninnovation.com

Rob has been active in the tech community since 1987 when he worked as a financial reviewer with CRA’s fledgling Scientific Research & Experimental Development Program in Victoria, BC.

In 1998 he was one of a few dozen industry representatives selected from across the country to attend the Vancouver SR&ED Practitioners’ Sessions – Rob represented the Vancouver Island Advanced Technology Association (VIATeC) with then Revenue Minister Herb Dhaliwal. He joined PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (now “PwC LLP”) as a manager in 2005. In 2009 he was promoted to senior manager – in their Vancouver Scientific Research and Experimental Development (aka “SR&ED”) tax practice.

Working with PwC allowed him to ‘up his game’, by working with some of the best tax professionals around and with a range of clients from large multi-nationals to technology startups – and everything in between. Focusing on the tax and financial side, Rob has worked with CFOs and public accountants to manage expenditure limits for larger and more successful companies, while helping to structure compensation and contract wording to maximize SR&ED incentives for all claimants.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Maintaining professional relations with CRA is important. That starts with an understanding of eligibility and current expectations for documentation. While our technical specialists are primarily responsible for determining eligibility, Rob has a very deep understanding of relevant tax legislation and understands how expenditures are characterized at law.

Rob works closely with claimants to identify naturally-generated records that can be used to substantiate eligible work performed. Using these he can develop supportable cost allocation methodologies that can be invaluable when disputes arise. When deliberations with CRA get difficult, it is important to understand both the process and the legislative underpinnings of the SR&ED program.

TAX PLANNING and SR&ED

SPECIALTIES

  • Allocation of labour expenditures
  • Expenditure limits for larger Canadian-controlled private corporations (CCPCs)
  • Shop-floor SR&ED and EP vs CP/ED (Experimental Production and Commercial Production with Experimental Development Work)
  • Association and control in related company groups
  • Treatment of government and non-government assistance
  • Definition of contract payment in subsection 127(9)
  • Definition of SR&ED in subsection 248(1)
  • Review of project descriptions to ensure compliance with eligibility requirements
  • Technical specialist in food-related technologies

PUBLICATION

In 2008 Rob presented this SR&ED Update to the Canada Tax Foundation in Winnipeg (see below). The report was reviewed by Mel Machado – former head of CRA’s SR&ED Directorate – and a partner with PwC in Ottawa