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WBSO tax credit benefits for startups

11-08-2020

If your company is a startup and you received an R&D declaration granting a benefit for new businesses, you may be able to make use of the customary salary scheme or the share option programme for startups.

Both schemes will lower your startup's wage tax liability. These tax arrangements are implemented by the Tax and Customs Administration.

You can apply the customary salary scheme and/or the share option programme for a maximum of 3 years.

In certain cases, you will have to submit a de minimis declaration to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. You can read more about the de minimis declaration below.

Customary salary scheme for startups

If you apply the customary salary scheme for startups, you may regard the statutory minimum wage as the customary salary. Alternatively, you may use the salary for the position that is the most similar if this is lower. In that case, you will have to make a plausible case for this.

Conditions

You qualify for this scheme if:

  • you are an employee of your own startup;
  • you as an employee have a substantial participation in your business;
  • your business has received an R&D declaration granting a benefit for new businesses.

If you satisfy all of the conditions and are covered by the employee insurance schemes, you must submit a de minimis declaration to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency before you can make use of the customary salary scheme.

If you satisfy all of the conditions, but are not covered by the employee insurance schemes, you can apply the customary salary scheme directly to your wage tax and national insurance contributions return. In that case, you do not need to submit a de minimis declaration to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.

Share option programme for startups

As a startup you may withhold wage tax and national insurance contributions on 75% rather than 100% of this benefit, insofar as this benefit does not exceed €50,000 when:

  • Startups award share option rights to employees. And,
  • employees exercise or alienate these rights.

Conditions

You qualify for this scheme if:

  • your business is obliged to deduct wage tax and national insurance contributions and has one or more salaried employees for whom an issued share option right is exercised or alienated;
  • your business received an R&D declaration ?granting a benefit for new businesses in the year in which that share option right was issued;
  • the employee exercises or alienates the share option right at least 12 months, but no more than 5 calendar years after you awarded it.

If you want to make use of the share option programme for startups, you must always first submit a de minimis declaration to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.
 

De minimis declaration

You may only apply the customary salary scheme and/or the share option programme if your business does not exceed the de minimis declaration as described by the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The details you enter in the de minimis declaration will determine whether or not you may apply the customary salary scheme or the share option programme for startups.

PLEASE NOTE: There are separate de minimis declarations for these schemes. Both forms can be found in eLoket.