You must always notify the Netherlands Enterprise Agency of the number of hours you have spent on research and development during the year in question. And, if applicable, the costs and expenditures you incurred. This is called WBSO statement. Entrepreneurs without employees must always give notice if you have spent fewer than 500 hours on R&D. Every year, you must report the hours actually spent on R&D and any costs and expenditures incurred in the previous year by 31 March at the latest. Chapter 11 of the Manual explains how you can report.
What you should report
- If you submitted an application for WBSO for your employees in 2022, you must report R&D hours of your employees spent in 2022. Also, if no hours were spent on R&D. If you opted for "actual costs and expenditures" (rather than a fixed amount), you must report the costs and expenditures incurred in 2022 as well.
- If you are an individual entrepreneur, you only need to complete a WBSO statement if you have spent fewer than 500 hours on R&D.
- If you terminate your business, you must report the actual number of hours spent on R&D, plus any costs and expenditures. You have to do this within one month of the date on which you terminate your business.
- R&D hours (and possible incurred costs and expenditures too) may be spent after the period covered by the R&D declaration. These hours and costs must be made in the same calendar year.
- Any R&D hours (plus costs and expenditures) you spend (or incur) before the start of the period covered by your R&D declaration, do not qualify for WBSO and cannot be reported.
Only specify costs that exclusively serve the execution of and are directly attributable to the R&D project. The phrase 'exclusively serve the execution of and are directly attributable' means that:
- you incur costs solely (100%) for the R&D project;
- there is a clear relationship between the costs specified and the R&D activities carried out.
If you would incur (part of these) costs even if you are not carrying out the R&D project, these costs are not fully attributable to your innovation project and do not qualify for WBSO.
When stating costs and expenditures, keep the following in mind:
- The actual costs and expenditures you state, must have been paid for at the time you submit the statement.
- You may only state the costs and expenditures that you have included in the application and which are allocated by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. This applies per project, not per application.
- You should only state the actual costs that you have incurred and paid for your R&D activities. In addition, the costs must be paid no later than 3 months after the end of the calendar year. The costs are incurred when you use them for your R&D work.
- For example, you cannot include costs in the statement for purchased materials that you have paid for but have not yet used for R&D activities.
Chapter 11 of the Manual explains how you can report. You can find the Manual on the homepage WBSO under 'Downloads'.