Exemption of wage WHT for researchers: BELSPO gives guidance on reporting R&D programs/projects
BELSPO has issued practical guidance regarding the reporting of R&D programs and projects for 2022. As a reminder, those programs and projects must be reported to BELSPO before the partial exemption of payment of wage withholding tax on the wages of researchers involved in those programs and projects can be applied. Many discussions have arisen during tax audits as the tax authorities take a very formalistic position regarding the reporting obligation.
BELSPO draws attention on several issues regarding the filing and updating of reports:
Updates of reported programs
It is advised to update reported R&D programs annually via the electronic BELSPO portal and preferably in January. This should be done by copying an existing project or program. The copied program for 2022 should have 1 January 2022 as starting date and 31 December 2022 as end date. In the course of 2022 changes can be made to R&D activities, involved personnel and their time spent on R&D.
Filing of new reports
- The partial exemption can only be applied as from the first day of the month in which the program has been reported.
- Enter the starting and estimated end date, even if the R&D is recurrent. The tax authorities do not accept dates that are too far in the future.
- In case of recurrent R&D, avoid a hiatus between the end date of one program and the starting date of the next one.
- In order to find the right report quickly, add the year in the title of the project of program when the list becomes too long.
It is also to be checked whether the previous reports are in line with the above-mentioned points of attention.
KPMG can help you with the filing and updating of the reports to BELSPO. Please contact your KPMG adviser for further assistance.