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An Interview With Michael Majeed, Toronto Research And Development Consultant

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Michael Majeed has been in the financial services business for over 20 years. He currently serves as a Senior Financial Consultant and Regional Sales Manager for a leading SR&ED consulting firm in Markham, Ontario.

Below is our recent interview with Michael Majeed:

Q: Could you give us some insight into your daily role as a Research and Development consultant?

A: Sure. I am a consultant in the Research and Development space. What that means is I help clients obtain tax refunds known in Canada as the SR&ED tax credit. A little bit of background information: more than $3 billion in tax incentives are provided by the Canadian government to more than 20,000 business owners each year. SR&ED is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency, and it’s the largest federal program supporting business research and development.

Very broadly, I help clients understand the program and then I help them determine if they qualify. Consulting in the Research and Development space, I enjoy working with business owners who are constantly innovating and bringing new ideas to life.

Q: What are some of the key benefits of the SR&ED tax program?

A: There are many benefits that businesses can enjoy with the tax program. For businesses that are able to obtain the tax credit, it can significantly reduce the actual cost of performing certain types of research and development. Those businesses now have the financial freedom to be more creative.

Secondly, businesses who qualify for the SR&ED tax program have the flexibility of choosing between getting an immediate tax credit or carry over the credit to later years. This helps companies budget their funds better and lowers the overall costs of research and development.

Q: The SR&ED tax program recognizes three types of research. Does a business qualify if their scope of work includes one of them?

A: Yes, more than likely. Let me break it down.

The three types included are: basic research, which is defined as work undertaken for the advancement of scientific knowledge without a specific practical application in view; applied research, which is performed to advance scientific knowledge with a specific practical application in view; and experimental development, which is work performed for the purpose of achieving technological advancement for the purpose of creating new, or improving existing, materials, devices, products, or processes, including incremental improvements.

Though that all sounds a bit technical, specific work qualifying for the SR&ED tax credit includes a wide range of anything from applied research to support work like computer programming and data collection.

Q: You have said innovation only occurs as the result of people being able to bring new ideas to life. How do you bring ideas to life?

A: I use the following 6 step process.

First, create a prototype; make your idea visual and receive input on any improvements and enhancements. Next, show how your idea will provide a solution. The third step is to find partners and collaborators; do research and get to know the subject matter experts who are well versed in your subject. Fourth, be open to partnership opportunities with your leadership team. Fifth, build a business plan; demonstrate how your idea will lead to technological improvements, demonstrate ROI, show how your idea reduces costs, improves a process, increases efficiency, and adds value.

Lastly, take your idea to market and schedule a time to share your business case with leaders in your industry and introduce your product, process or technology to the world.

Q: Outside of work, you help to raise money for The Ripple Effect Wellness Organization, Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children and breast cancer research. Why is community involvement so important to you?

A: I like that it is a two-fold experience. A. You get to help someone else out either directly or indirectly. B. In the process, you feel good by doing good. I remember one one time when I won a raffle at a fundraiser for Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. The prize was a $250 gift certificate to Toys R Us. My gift was donated to a young girl who was battling a terminal illness. It was truly a gift to see how I put such a big smile on her face, and the feeling I received in return is indescribable.

Now, whenever I participate in competitive runs in the city, I always donate to Sick Kids. They are an amazing organization and they truly make a difference in each child’s life.

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