Australian Tax Rebates for Clinical Research

While the goal of any clinical research project should be to find results that further scientific knowledge, there are also other important factors to consider. For example, medical R&D in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors is expensive. That’s why Australia and its generous tax credit system for research is a popular destination to conduct clinical trials.

Organisations value Australia because it provides an affordable platform for R&D that does not compromise on the infrastructure needed for a quality research project. In terms of tax, Australia is amongst the most rewarding countries through its generous rebate program.

Indeed, companies conducting clinical research in the country receive 43.5% in tax credits. In comparison, the United States, another important research base, only provides a 6% rebate. Whatever the cost of the trial, the tax credit returns a significant portion to the organisation.

For example,

  • Clinical research costing 10,000 AUD would have a tax rebate of 4,300 AUD
  • Clinical research cost 1m AUD would have a tax rebate of 430,000 AUD

Clinical Research Requirements in Australia

Australia presents an enticing destination for R&D across the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, but there are requirements companies must fulfil to conduct research. These requirements involve both the organisation and the clinical trial. Perhaps the most obvious regulation is that the study must happen in Australia to receive tax rebates.

Research requirements: Companies carrying out clinical research in Australia must prove the study is legitimate. This means showcasing the research will aim to further scientific understanding and uncover new information in the field. Organisations must also show that the study is started on solid ground and coming from an existing knowledge base.

Importantly, medical research companies should not be concerned about those requirements. Most clinical research projects will fulfil the requirements by default, including Phase I, Phase II, Phase III, and even most Phase IV research.

Company requirements: There are several stipulations in place for companies that want to conduct R&D in Australia. Probably the most restrictive is having global turnover of 20m AUD or less, which would mean many large corporations aren’t eligible.

More importantly, a company must hold some operations within Australia, such as a subsidiary. Luckily, setting up a subsidiary in the country is easy and can usually be done in 48 hours. Another option, and one that is increasingly common, is to use a contract research organisation (CRO) to conduct the study.

CROs that are based in Australia can fulfil all the legalities and research on behalf of an organisation. Independent contractors have become popular for medical research across the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device industries over the last decade.

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