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R&D Tax Credits in the Healthcare Industry

5 December 2017
Caroline Hawkins
The Healthcare industry;  Continuing our series of articles on the opportunities to claim R&D tax reliefs in various different sectors, here we are considering R&D claims Shorts’ Innovation Taxes Group (ITG) have made for clients in the healthcare industry.

As we’ve mentioned previously, R&D can often be driven by regulatory changes and this is often the case in the healthcare industry, where demands from the regulatory bodies are, understandably high. In addition, quality assurance, functionality, durability and high performance standards in the medical sector often lead to innovation.

By way of a reminder, R&D tax relief can have a significant benefit for qualifying companies, with up to £25 of tax savings being available for every £100 of spend. In this article we have outlined some examples of successful claims Shorts’ ITG have worked on in the healthcare and medical sector.

Successful claims within the Healthcare industry

Specialist seat manufacture

Care home providers increasingly require more complex seating arrangements for their clients – these need to be suitable for long term use and also easily operated by care home staff. At their most basic, a cross between an arm chair and a wheel chair, R&D work was undertaken by our client specifically with regard to the extendable foot rest, which may need to be varied not only on a user-by-user basis, but also by the same user at different times. Work was undertaken to produce an extendable footrest which could easily and efficiently be operated on a one-handed basis.

Orthopaedic instrumentation solutions

As you might imagine, the kits used in, for example, joint replacement surgery requires technically complex, intricate and specialised precision medical components. For one client, R&D tax relief was available not only for the costs of devising the prototypes for this equipment but also for developing a process by which this could be scaled up to full production.

‘White coats in Laboratories’

Although we are often saying R&D tax relief is not predicated on staff wearing white coats working in laboratories, the medical sector is one area where we do see this more than others! One such example is the attempts to develop processes to purify chemical compounds for use in respiratory illnesses. Whilst you might think this is obviously R&D, what is more interesting is, as with all claims for R&D tax relief, a successful claim does not rely upon the company developing a successful solution to the problem. Sometimes the advance in science and technology can be proving that a certain method of technique does not give the required result!

Development of new material compounds

Similar in many ways to the development of the instrumentation solutions above, but in this case looking at the underlying materials compounds as opposed to the instrumentation R&D can be found where companies are looking to develop either a new product, or where, having successfully developed the product, further work has to be done to develop a commercial process.

NHS Monitoring

NHS bodies of many varying types (Primary Care Trusts, Mental Health Trusts) need to engage with their staff and users to get feedback on performance. One way in which this is done is via staff, patient and user surveys. The design, administration and management of such surveys has led to R&D being undertaken in developing algorithms in software specifically for this purpose.

The above are just a few examples of the claims we encounter with our clients in the healthcare industry. There are many other examples, in both this and other sectors. If you wish to discuss whether R&D tax reliefs might be available to your company, please get in touch to arrange your free consultation.

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