Tax changes provide new opportunities for the life science industry

For Sweden's life science companies, tax issues repeatedly top the list of factors that determine their ability to operate and grow in our country. Therefore, SwedenBIO is clearly positive to the proposals for tax breaks for research-intensive companies that have appeared in 2020.

Now in 2021, both the more generous rules of the expert tax and the extended R&D deduction will come into force. Both proposals have long been promoted by SwedenBIO. In addition, the government’s proposal on extended rules for employee stock options has just been submitted for consultation. A proposal that addresses several of the shortcomings of the current framework, such as the fact that board members are so far not included. The proposal captures their strategic importance for growth companies and sets more generous limits on the net turnover and average number of employees a company can have to use the option. BioArctic, one of SwedenBIO’s fast-growing member companies, welcomes the proposal.

– BioArctic thinks it is very positive that young and fast-growing companies are now given an opportunity, with a lower taxation for both the option issuer (the company) and the option holder (the employee), to favor innovations and companies with exciting prospects, not least in the life science sector. It rewards innovation and helps create the conditions for companies to establish themselves in Sweden,” says Gunilla Osswald, CEO of BioArctic.

While the proposal is a step in the right direction to include the so important medium-sized companies, there are things that need to be adjusted, according to SwedenBIO’s CEO Helena Strigård. This concerns the time limit set by the Ministry of Finance of 10 years for how old a company can be to benefit from the extended regulations.

A more generous time limit is needed to include the medium-sized companies, which are faced with the choice of where in the world to expand and play such an important role as a model for innovative entrepreneurs at smaller companies.

Read more on this topic in Helena Strigård’s opinion piece in Altinget.