Treasury Releases Initial Guidance on the Therapeutic Discovery Project Program under Section 48D of the Internal Revenue Code

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (H.R. 3590), signed into law by President Obama March 23, 2010, included a provision designed to encourage investment in new therapies. The new "therapeutic discovery project tax credit" (Section 48D of the Internal Revenue Code) provides a 50-percent credit (or a grant for the same amount) for qualifying investments made during 2009 and 2010 tax years (or fiscal 2010 and 2011 tax years). The provision allocates a set amount ($1 billion) for qualifying taxpayers. Section 48D required the establishment of a project program within 60 days of the provision's enactment. Today, the IRS released guidance (Notice 2010-45) which provides the procedures under which an eligible taxpayer may apply for certification from the IRS of a qualified investment with respect to a qualifying therapeutic discovery project as eligible for a credit, or for certain taxpayers, a grant under the program. The IRS will consult with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as described in the notice, in conducting this program. The notice includes an Appendix that is designed to help illustrate the type of information necessary to complete the application. In general, the key components of a completed application for certification include a Form 8942 (to be released within 30 days from today) and a Project Information Memorandum.