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Government information for entrepreneurs

This article is related to:

R&D tax credit (WBSO)

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

If you run a company in the Netherlands that carries out research and development work (Speur- en Ontwikkelingswerk, S&O or R&D), you may be eligible for compensation of wage costs and additional costs under the WBSO schemeExternal link. This basically means businesses pay lower wage tax and lower national insurance contributions, and self-employed entrepreneurs can deduct an (annually set) fixed amount for R&D when filing their income tax return. StartupsExternal link are given extra compensation for R&D work.

When do you qualify?

  • Your company employs people responsible for R&D work.
  • As a self-employed professional, you spend at least 500 hours on R&D per calendar year.

If you are self-employed and you employ staff who carry out research and development, you can apply R&D tax credit for your own R&D hours as well as for those of your employees.

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency's (RVO) website offers more information on additional WBSO requirementsExternal link and lists WBSO publicationsExternal link.

How to apply?

You can submit your applicationExternal link (in Dutch) to RVO using eHerkenning (eRecognition) (assurance level 2+). Different application periods apply to R&D withholding agents and self-employed persons.

If you have a Message Box account, you may want to receive your WBSO orders digitally.

For more information on the R&D tax credit (WBSO) see the Tax and Customs Administration's Payroll Tax AllowancesExternal link.

To see if you are eligible for R&D tax credit, you can use this handy WBSO assistantExternal link (in Dutch). You will also see how much tax credit you are entitled to.

As an entrepreneur you can apply for R&D tax credit 4 times a year, this used to be 3 times a year. In addition applications can be submitted less far in advance than previously. These changes apply since 1 January 2020.

This article is related to:

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO