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Partial retention tax exemption on research and development

Tax benefits for investment in innovation

To stay ahead of the competition your company invests in research and development (R&D). Because standing still is the fastest way to move backwards. But did you know that some innovation projects qualify for partial exemption from retention tax? Benefit from this advantage thanks to the Screening R&D!

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Why choose for the Screening R&D?

  • You get back 80 % of your retention tax. We calculate the exact figure for you.
  • You know what you are doing. Our experts build a complete case.
  • You save valuable time. This is because we draw up an action plan and guide you through the process, from application to administrative follow-up.
  • You have one central point of contact for all departments concerned.

Save up to 80% on your R&D retention tax

The European Union wants her member states to invest 3% of their GDP in research and development. For that reason the Federal government has launched incentives of all kinds, such as partial exemption from the retention tax on innovation projects.

Do you employ personnel on research and development projects in Belgium? You may qualify for this research and development tax incentive.

The concept is very simple: businesses are entitled to keep 80% of the retention tax due on their researchers' salaries. Provided they meet the conditions.

Screening R&D: which impact on your business? Discover it in this video!

Who qualify for the partial retention tax exemption for R&D?

The following businesses and institutions are entitled to apply the partial exemption from retention tax for research and development:

  • Companies that take on employees with specific science qualifications: bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, doctorates
  • Small, recently created companies that devote at least 15% of their expenditure to R&D. The qualification requirements are even more flexible for these Young Innovative Companies
  • Universities, colleges and acknowledged scientific institutions
  • Companies in partnership agreements with the institutions above

The following conditions apply:

  • You must work in research and/or development
  • It must concern a project or programme covering fundamental research, industrial research or experimental development
  • You should have reported the projects or programmes to the Federal Science Policy service (BELSPO) in advance
  • You must produce time sheets as evidence of the time spent on the project by each research worker

Would you like to know if you qualify for the partial exemption from retention tax? Fill in our simulation form and we will contact you as soon as possible.

Here are two specific examples

Example 1: 

Antoine is unmarried and has no dependent children. He is also a full-time employee in the service industry. He develops procedures for better internal functioning, a project on which he works full-time.

Total wage cost (employer social security + gross wage) 
€ 5153
Normal withholding tax 
€ 1054,97
Recuperation of 80% of the withholding tax on professional income 
€ 843,98 

Instead of € 5153, his employer now only has to pay € 4309,02 (€ 5153 - € 843,98).  A reduction of the total wage cost of 16%!

Example 2:

Aline is a full-time employee in the agronomic sector. She is married and has no dependent children. She researches and develops new vegetable varieties, which she does on a half-time basis.

Total wage cost (employer social security + gross wage) 
€ 5153
Normal withholding tax / 2 
€ 1054,97 / 2 = € 527,49
Recuperation of 80% of the withholding tax on professional income / 2 
€ 843,98 / 2 =  € 421,99 

Instead of € 5153, her employer now only has to pay € 4731,01 (€ 5153 - € 421,99).  A reduction of the total labour cost of 8%!

How to apply for the exemption from retention tax on research and development?

Does your innovation project meet the conditions above? Check by completing our simulation form and ask our experts for advice. We will submit your project to BELSPO to check wheter you qualify for the exemption.

We will happily walk you through the steps from A to Z:

  • We help you build and file a strong case.
  • We help monitor your file's administrative progress.
  • Annual review: we help identify new projects that could qualify for exemption.
Frequently asked questions about Screening R&D
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