Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Announces 2019 Tax Incentive Program

January 2019


The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) has announced a Life Sciences Tax Incentive Program for companies engaged in life sciences research and development, commercialization, and manufacturing in Massachusetts.  Eligible companies must submit an application by February 8, 2019. 


A quasi-public agency of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center is tasked with implementing the Massachusetts Life Sciences Act, a $1 billion initiative started in 2008.  On June 15, 2018, new legislation was enacted to further invest up to $623 million in bond authorization and tax credits over five years in education, research and development, and workforce training. 
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Tax Incentives Program is a set of ten different tax incentives, including the life sciences investment tax credit, FDA user fees credit, net operating loss extension, sales tax exemptions, jobs incentives, among others.  The MLSC certifies companies and administers the tax incentives program.   
Applicant life sciences companies must satisfy the following eligibility requirements:
  • Registered to do business in Massachusetts.
  • Employ at least 10 permanent FTEs (35 hours/week) as of December 31, 2018.
  • Commit to hiring at least 10 net new jobs in calendar year 2019 and demonstrate an ability to retain these jobs through 2023.
  • File a Massachusetts tax return either for a calendar year ending December 31, 2018, or for a fiscal year ending after December 31, 2018, but before October 31, 2019. 
A Tax Incentive Program “Solicitation” provides further information on eligibility and the application process.
An interested life sciences company must submit an application with the MLSC on or before February 8, 2019 (12:00 p.m. EST).

Life sciences companies that are accepted by MLSC for the tax incentives program, in addition to meeting the continuing eligibility requirements, will be required to complete and file quarterly and annual reports.  The annual report is also used to determine whether the company has met the specific targets set forth in its application.  Failure to file required reports or satisfy targets is grounds for revocation of the company’s certification as a certified life sciences company.  Upon decertification, any awarded tax incentives must be returned/repaid to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

BDO Insights

  • The MLSC is currently accepting applications for the Massachusetts Life Sciences Tax Incentives Program until February 8, 2019.
  • The MLSC has indicated that determinations of certified life sciences companies and tax incentives awards will be made by the end of April 2019.

Central:   Southeast:
Deborah Kovachick
Tax Partner
  Scott Smith
Tax Managing Director
Richard Spengler
Tax Managing Director
  Tony Manners
Tax Managing Director
Mariano Sori
Tax Partner
  Taryn Goldstein
Tax Managing Director

Northeast:   Southwest:
Janet Bernier
Tax Principal
  Laura Holmes
Tax Managing Director
Matthew Dyment
Tax Principal
  Gene Heatly
Tax Managing Director

West:   Atlantic:
Rocky Cummings
Tax Partner
  Angela Acosta
Tax Managing Director
Paul McGovern
Tax Managing Director