The WBSO is intended to encourage companies subject to tax in the Netherlands to perform Research and Development (R&D) activities. It concerns a tax scheme that is settled with the payroll taxes. The scheme is easily accessible because the R&D activities must be technically new to your company: it does not have to be new to the industry, the Netherlands or Europe. Companies that invest in research and technological development to improve / renew existing (parts of) products, production processes or software are usually eligible for this scheme.
How much is the subsidy?
- 40% on all R&D costs up to € 350,000 (1st bracket ‘schijf’);
- for (techno) start-ups (start-up companies under the age of 5, can be used for a maximum of 3 years), the percentage is 50% on all R&D costs up to € 350,000.
- 16% on all R&D costs above € 350,000 (2nd bracket ‘schijf’).
- For self-employed persons (ZZP) there is a fixed deduction of € 12,980 and for starters an additional deduction of € 6,494. For this, a self-employed person must perform at least 500 hours of R&D work on an annual basis.
The R&D hourly wage is € 29 in the first 2 years of applications. After 2 years of applications, this is calculated on the basis of the actual hourly wages of the R&D employees.
You can submit a maximum of 4 applications within a calendar year. An application period consists of at least 3 calendar months. An application must be submitted no later than 1 day before the application period (for example: for an application for the period April – June, an application must be submitted no later than 31 March). An exception to this are applications for a period starting on 1 January. These must be submitted no later than December 20.
If you receive a WBSO statement, you as an employer are obliged to keep a comprehensive R&D administration (free of form) and to report the actual R&D hours after the subsidy year has ended.