Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate (H.R. 2632, S. 1410) to encourage life sciences investment by increasing the existing research and development (R&D) tax credit.

The Life Sciences Jobs and Investment Act of 2011 would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to offer U.S. businesses tax incentives to hire additional researchers, make new investments in life sciences research and invest in new research facilities.

The legislation would reportedly allow companies engaged in life sciences to either double the R&D tax credit on the first $150 million invested (from 20 percent to 40 percent) or repatriate foreign earnings, when used exclusively for U.S. job creation and research, up to $150 million at a reduced tax rate of 5.25 percent. The tax breaks would be scheduled to end December 31, 2016.  

“Life sciences are a key component of our economy,” House bill sponsor Representative Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said. “They support improved life-spans and a superior quality of life. We need to ensure America continues to lead in these important fields. One way to accomplish this is to reduce taxes on foreign earnings if those earnings are re-invested here in the United States.” See Rep. Devin Nunes Press Release, July 25, 2011; BNA Life Sciences Law & Industry Report, July 29, 2011.