Withholding tax exemption

Exemption from withholding tax: 80% exemption from withholding tax on the wages of researches

If you, as an employer from the private sector or knowledge institutions, employ researchers, you can be exempted for 80% of the withholding tax owed on their wages. This rule has been created with help of the Belgian Science Policy office, Belspo and also applies to bachelor’s degrees, where you can obtain an exemption of 80%, limited to 50% of the total amount of the exemption as applied to other employees with a specific master’s and / or doctor’s degree.

Exemption from withholding tax

Bachelor’s degrees have also been eligible since 2020. The rule differs for the different types of companies:

  • Small companies

    Master degrees: exemption of 80%
    Bachelor degrees: exemption of 80%
    (limited to 50% of the total amount of the exemption as applied to employees with a specific master’s and / or doctor’s degree)

  • Other companies

    Master degrees: exemption of 80%
    Bachelor degrees: exemption of 80%
    (limited to 25% of the total amount of the exemption as applied to employees with a specific master’s and / or doctor’s degree)

For certain positions, the exemption must be applied pro-rate in proportion to the time that the employees concerned actually spent on research. These are assistant researchers and post-doctoral researchers at universities, colleges and recognized scientific institutions.

In addition, the projects or programs are only eligible if they have been registered with the Federal Public Planning Service Science Policy. You can register by identifying the payer of the withholding tax, describing the project or program to which the investigation applies, and indicating the expected start and end dates.

Why apply for an exemption from withholding tax through Venture Campus?

Venture Campus has already assisted several companies in applying for the exemption from withholding tax. So we have the knowledge and know-how to guide you in this. In addition, you only have to reimburse us if you actually obtain the exemption. We work on a no-cure, no-pay basis!

By the way, did you know that your company may also be eligible for other types of subsidies? Contact us so that we can see together whether you are also entitled to withholding tax exemption.

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Exemption of withholding tax

Who is eligible?

Research or development projects or programs which have the following objectives:

  • Fundamental research  – To acquire new knowledge about phenomena
  • Industrial researchWith a view to developing or renewing products or services
  • Experimental development – The acquisition, combination, design and use of existing scientific, technical, business and other knowledge and skills