Any entrepreneur in the Netherlands can be qualified for the WBSO subsidy help. The company can be of any size and can be working in any business field. The WBSO distinguishes between entrepreneurs who withhold payroll taxes (inhoudingsplichtigen) and who are subject to wage tax (belastingplichtigen). This article provides more information about tax regulations and the WBSO conditions.
R&D tax withholding agents
Entrepreneurs are qualified for a reduction in the payroll tax if they conduct business within the meaning of the regulations on corporate tax or employ staff who carry out R&D.
R&D tax withholding agents are entrepreneurs who manage a business that is not a public knowledge institute. They should carry R&D activities and withhold payroll taxes on behalf of their employees. Before becoming an R&D tax withholding agent, an entrepreneur should be issued a payroll tax number from the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.
Holding company / operating company
Both entrepreneur’s operating company and the holding company have to apply for the WBSO if their employees carry out R&D.
In case a company hires employees to a third party, they fall under the WBSO only when organising the R&D work at the third party’s company. An exception to this is made for hiring in or hiring out employees. Employees may be hired in or out for R&D, for example, by an employment agency or by companies within a tax entity that carry out work on a specific project. When employees are hired in and out by companies within a tax entity, each employing company needs to submit an application.
The R&D hours worked for the WBSO can include hours worked by trainees and students working on their graduation project. However, only if they are employed by the company and all the R&D conditions are met.
A self-employed entrepreneur who manages a business within the meaning of the Wage Tax Act and works on R&D for at least 500 hours in a calendar year is qualified for an R&D tax credit. In this case, self-employed is indicated as an R&D taxpayer. A self-employed entrepreneur can submit more than one application, in case they manage a business through more than one company with R&D activities. A self-employed person cannot claim for costs and expenditures, neither can choose a fixed sum. Those entrepreneurs who hire salaried employees for R&D work can also apply for a WBSO tax credit as payroll tax withholding agents.