Briefing Note, not for general release.
Ottawa, May/June, 2008…CATAAlliance (www.cata.ca) announced today the
appointment of Russ Roberts, one of Canada’s leading tax and regulatory
experts, as the Alliance’s Senior Vice President, with a mandate to create a
unified voice for Canada’s SR&ED performers.
According to CATA President John Reid, “The SR&ED tax credit system needs
to be improved so that all Canadian businesses have access to its benefits,
and that it needs to be effectively integrated with other tax measures so that
the results of Canadian R&D are exploited in Canada and create Canadian jobs,
CATA President, John Reid, noted, “Dr. Russ Roberts will help us create a unified
voice for the industry on SR&ED in achieving that objective. He builds on
a considerable knowledge base, is highly respected by his peers and brings
with him a network of high level relationships integral to successful advocacy.
Dr. Roberts will be supported by CATA’s Survey and Research Division and
special Advisory Group drawn from the membership.
Dr. Roberts retired from Industry Canada 1n 1998 after 25 years working
with the business community to improve Canadian regulation. At Industry
Canada, he was a Special Advisor reporting to the Director General, Corporate
Governance. He was responsible for developing processes such as the Business
Impact Test to help business show government where regulatory costs can
be reduced and the advantages of doing so. He led the consultations of the
Department of Finance, Industry Canada, and Revenue Canada (now the
Canada Customs and Canada Revenue Agency) which produced major refinements
to the legislation for the SR&ED tax credit program in 1992.
Previously, Russ was Senior Science Advisor at Revenue Canada from 1985
to 1991. During this period, he managed the scientific aspects of the SR&ED
tax credit program for the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency). He personally conducted the
consultations with the private sector that established the interpretive
and administrative policy and practices for this program, including the
development of the original Information Circular IC 86-4 and the application
papers. He is an expert in the interpretive policies and practices of the program,"
and a leader in identifying best practices for developing and supporting the
SR&ED tax credit claims.
His appointment as Senior Policy Director of the CATAAlliance in 1998
reflected the importance that the Alliance and the community place on
finding ways to improve the functioning of the SR&ED tax credits. In this
capacity, he has been leading the coalition of businesses and associations
which documented the problems that existed in the program's administration
and which obtained the commitment of the Minister of National Revenue to
an action plan for their correction. From 2000 to 2008, Dr. Roberts also held
the position of Senior Tax Director for accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche.
Most recently, he has led the development of consensus between the
Canadian computer science/ information technology business community
and the CRA on interpretive policies for the credits in this sector and t
he best practices for companies to follow to support their claims. This
effort has led to the issuance of new Guidance for the sector that carries
the full support of CRA. This Guidance is the basis for jointly training the
CRA's software specialists and the community in how the credits should
work in the sector.
His interest and expertise in regulatory reform is assisting the CATAAlliance
in expanding the focus of their advocacy program to obtaining regulation
and tax measures that work from both a policy and a business perspective.
Prior to his work on the SR&ED tax credit program, Russ was a scientist
with the National Research Council of Canada. There, he led multi-disciplinary
teams of government experts and stakeholders in the assessment of the
environmental and health hazards of industrial organic chemicals, including
pesticides. He has a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, and
his undergraduate work was in chemistry and mathematics.
View CATANet Video SR&ED
Dr. Roberts will be regularly updating the community on Tax and Finance
Advocacy, though expert briefing notes, Roundtable meetings and video presentations.
Reid added, “To help unify the industry’s voice we will create an Advisory Group
under Dr. Robert’s direction, with each member organization engaging an executive
representative to assist with the SR&ED advocacy mandate.”
++ Action Item: Executives interested in working with Russ Roberts in advancing the SR&ED Advocacy should contact John Reid at firstname.lastname@example.org Executive representatives will be invited to be part of a private on line Forum that CATA is setting up to facilitate information exchange, relationship building and problem resolution. Companies may also wish to engage CATA in developing specific SR&ED Advocacy Campaigns.