16TH JANUARY, 2019

What Projects Qualify For R&D Tax Credits In The Medical Industry?

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the biggest areas of research and development activity in the world. Despite this, many companies in the sector are still yet to claim R&D tax credits.

However, since the introduction of the R&D Tax Credits scheme in 2000; there has been a 25% increase between 2014/15 - 2016/17 in the total amount of R&D tax relief claimed by pharmaceutical companies, and these encouraging figures are set to rise.

How do I know if I qualify for R&D tax relief?

To qualify for R&D tax relief, your company must have a project which has sought a technological or scientific advancement in its industry, navigating a degree of difficulty. Tax Relief applies to products, processes, materials, devices and services, so there is plenty in the pharmaceutical industry which qualifies for R&D tax relief.

How does this apply to the pharmaceutical industry?

  • Drug discovery is one of the largest aspects of the pharmaceutical industry where R&D tax credits are claimed. The development of a drug or treatment and its chemical research and further testing is a prime example of R&D in the pharmaceutical industry. Our experience with pharmaceutical companies suggests that most of the qualifying activity for Pharmaceutical R&D tax credits occurs in the clinical trials of Phase 1-3.
  • Devices in the medical field often show evidence of R&D. This includes devices for administering drugs or monitoring patients.
  • Testing Methods that are being developed are equally eligible for R&D tax credits. Although there is a presumption that R&D tax credits only apply to the final product and not to its manufacturing process, the production and associated activity very much qualify. By using technology to improve efficiency or efficacy of a testing method, a company can be entitled to R&D tax credits. 
  • Development and improvement of products, processes or services are often forgotten as aspects of R&D but can yield great results. For example, companies that seek to make a process more efficient, effective or to improve the results of an existing product may qualify for pharmaceutical R&D tax relief. This includes improvements like sterility, speed of process or fitness for market (i.e. a sugar-free drug).

In Summary:

There is plenty of activity in the pharmaceutical and medical industries which qualify for R&D tax relief, from the creation of a new drug to the packaging. Adapting and improving the product or process to be more efficient, cost-effective, sustainable or to yield greater results can all help your company make a claim for R&D tax relief. Although the process may seem daunting, there are plenty of options for help, from your accountant to dedicated experts who identify activity on which you can claim, saving you time and effort. Find out today if you could qualify by emailing us, and we’ll let you know.

Barrie Dowsett, ACMA, GCMA
Author Barrie Dowsett, ACMA, GCMA CEO, Tax Cloud
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Myriad Associates helps businesses maximise tax reliefs and secure R&D grant funds. We specialise in R&D Tax Credits, Video Games Tax Relief, Innovate UK grants, Horizons 2020 grants, and Research and Development Capital Allowance Claims.

  • Submitting R&D tax claims since 2001
  • 100% success rate
  • Over £100m claimed and counting
  • Industry leading specialists
  • In-house technical, costing and tax experts
  • Member of the Research and Development Consultative (RDCC) committee

Meet some of the team behind Tax Cloud

Barrie Dowsett Barrie Dowsett ACMA CGMA Chief Executive Officer
David Farbey David Farbey MA, FISTC, FRSA Technical Consultancy Director
Lisa Waller Lisa Waller CTA, ACCA R&D Tax Manager
Lauren Olson Lauren Olson MA, MISTC Senior Technical Consultant