The WBSO is a tax credit for research and development. The tax credit benefit that the WBSO grants you depends on the legal form of your business.
Entrepreneur without employees
Businesses that are liable for income tax qualify for a fixed deduction if they spend at least 500 hours per calendar year on R&D. Moreover, newly self-employed persons without employees qualify for an additional deduction. In 2020, the R&D deduction for self-employed persons is €12,980 and the additional deduction for newly self-employed persons is €6,494.
Company with employees
The benefit calculation for businesses that are liable for Corporation tax is based on:
- the hours spent on R&D, to be reported in the application;
- the R&D hourly wage, calculated on the basis of the citizen service numbers of R&D employees from 2 years ago or a fixed hourly wage of €29;
- costs and expenses associated with the R&D project. Each calendar year, you choose between a fixed amount or an estimate of the actual costs and expenses. The fixed amount for costs and expenses is:
- €10 per hour spent on R&D for the first 1,800 hours;
- €4 per hour spent on R&D for all R&D hours exceeding 1,800.
Benefit percentages and amounts
The amount of wage tax and national insurance contributions you have to pay will be lower (R&D tax rebate). You calculate the amount as follows: ((R&D hours x R&D hourly wage) + (fixed amount or estimated costs and expenses)) x first or second tax bracket percentage.
The benefit percentages and amounts indicated below apply to WBSO applications for the year 2020:
|Rate per bracket||Percentage|
|First bracket rate||32%|
|First bracket rate for newly self-employed persons*||40%|
|First bracket limit||€350,000 R&D (wage) costs|
|Second bracket rate||16%|
|Self-employed deduction (>500 R&D hours)||Amount|
|Additional deduction for newly self-employed persons||€6,494|
* You cannot be regarded as a newly self-employed person for more than 3 years in the first 5 years in which you are an entrepreneur for income tax purposes.
The innovation box
If you generate a profit from innovation activities, you can use of the innovation box. With the innovation box, you can reduce your liability in respect of corporation tax on profits from innovation activities. In that case, an effective tax rate of 7% rather than the maximum rate of 25% applies. The innovation box is implemented by the Tax and Customs Administration.
Read more about the innovation box (in Dutch).
Offsetting your financial benefit
After you have received your R&D declaration, you will be able to offset your financial benefit.
There are two possibilities:
- You are an R&D withholding agent and receive an R&D tax rebate;
- You are an R&D tax subject and receive an R&D deduction.
Chapter 10 of the Manual explains how you can offset your R&D tax rebate or R&D deduction.