Innovative Sask. companies could see decade or more of corporate tax cuts

The provincial government has unveiled what it called a "patent box" incentive — a tax incentive which could see the tax rate for eligible corporations working within the province lowered to six per cent for 10 years.

Under the Saskatchewan Commercial Innovation Incentive, some of those corporations could see that period extended an extra five years if the majority of their research and development is conducted within Saskatchewan. The affected corporations will also have the ability to choose when their tax breaks kick in.

The current general corporate income tax rate is 12 per cent, but is set to drop to 11.5 per cent in July, and 11 per cent in 2019.

In a release, the province said the breaks will apply to income earned from "a broad range of qualifying types of intellectual property in Saskatchewan," including "patents, plant breeders' rights, trade secrets and copyright (computer programs and algorithms)."

By picking their own tax break period, the province says companies can maximize their operations and profits before they claim the rebate. 

"It supports our government's commitment to Saskatchewan's future economic success, which will depend increasingly on knowledge and innovation," Minister of Economy Jeremy Harrison said in the release. 

Eligibility will be determined using criteria outlined in the program's established scientific and economic eligibility tests, the province said.

The program comes into effect this summer.