1 September 2022

Every business leader knows that innovation is necessary to remain competitive. Not innovating means standing still and eventually falling behind the competition. We spoke to Dylan Meneve, Business Developer at FI Group Belgium, who is committed to improving your business. The best way to start is by investigating how something can be done more efficiently. Then implementing the necessary developments to achieve a better result. It starts with a team of researchers, which can be a big cost for a company and can eventually be a limiting factor for your innovation. So what’s FI Group’s solution for this? 

How to begin?

By applying the wage withholding tax exemption for researchers, FI Group helps you to reduce personnel costs. Thanks to this measure, companies can benefit from a possible exemption up to 80% of the withholding tax. Since it is an exemption from paying the withholding tax, this is a quick way to save money. Thanks to these savings, as a company, you can free up more available capital to invest in innovation than was originally planned in the budget.  

Now that you know that savings can be made, the question is how to do it. The easiest way for a company is to outsource this to an external partner. This way, as a company, you do not have to put people on the payroll, you do not have to provide training, etc. FI Group takes away these worries leaving you with more time and money to invest. We do this by analysing which projects and employees are eligible for the exemption. The only thing that is expected from you, the client, is to provide the necessary information about your active and future projects and the staff working on them.   

First of all, FI Group looks at the nature of the project. What is being researched and does it qualify as research and development? We base this on the definition of R&D found in the Frascati Manual:   

  • Innovative;
  • Creative;
  • Uncertain;
  • Systematic;
  • Transferable and Reproducible.

What are we working towards? 

Once we have found a project that meets the conditions, we move on to the next step: the employees. We analyse who works on this project, what they do and how much of their time they spend on it. To do this, we need an overview of the employees on the payroll and their diplomas. Do they have the right diplomas? At least one person should have a master’s degree. If this is the case, researchers with a bachelor’s degree can also be included in this scheme.   

Now that the candidates for this exemption are known, we examine which order of magnitude we can apply per researcher. As a company, you have to be able to demonstrate how much time the person in question works on this project. You provide us with the necessary timesheets and job description so that we can complete your file.  

Our file is complete and we are ready to apply our exemption. Together we go through the report we prepared. Here you get an overview of our findings. This gives us another moment to discuss whether our file corresponds with reality. Once approved, FI Group will contact your social secretariat to apply the exemption.  

The necessary steps have been taken, as a company you can now benefit from this exemption which leaves you with extra capital to reinvest in your future. FI Group will regularly contact you to follow up if the situation has changed. This can range from the completion of a project to the expansion of the team. We will then do what is necessary to update your file.  

To make sure our clients can rest easy, FI Group is also ready to defend your (project) file in case of a tax audit.  

FI Group has 20 years of experience and wants to support you in understanding and exploiting the available R&D+I opportunities. Our experts are at your disposal to analyse your project and take the next steps together with you towards innovation.  

Yvette Poumpalova

Dylan Meneve

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