It’s no secret: innovation is a key driver of economic growth. It means improving products processes and/or services, and this is hugely encouraged in Belgium! But do you know that these efforts also lead to tax benefits? These often remain misunderstood and complex so they are also underused.
Belgium is at the European top in terms of Research and Development (R&D). The decision to invest more in R&D has been one of the most successful policy choices in recent years: with 3.4% of GDP spent on R&D, Belgium ranks 6th among industrialised countries. This is thanks to a combination of:
According to the European Commission, Belgium is one of the four innovation leaders in Europe. For instance, it appears in the ‘innovation leaders’ group on the European Innovation Scoreboard 2022 (EIS) for the second year in a row. This points to strong and rapid innovation growth, an effort that people remain committed to.
However, this leading position did not come overnight. It is mainly the favourable location in the heart of Europe that plays in Belgium’s favour, but also the innovative spirit and R&D spending within sectors such as biotech, pharma, energy, climate, …
Companies account for some 75% of R&D investment in our country, driving the rapid spurt that made Belgium an innovation leader globally.
Thus, thanks to growing R&D budgets of companies, our country is investing more than 3% of GDP in research and development for the first time. It largely explains why our country has a strong competitive advantage in R&D activities and innovation, including spill-overs to other economic actors, compared to our neighbours other strong R&D countries.
Companies in Belgium simply do more R&D. So we must continue to focus on developing economic activities based on research and development. Knowing what benefits can be attached to this, knowing and understanding the tax principles, is already a first step.
Belgium encourages R&D+I investment efforts through an advantageous tax framework. But tax incentives remain in many cases misunderstood and complex, thus also underused. The incentives create positive results in innovative companies of all sizes, from Startups and SMEs to large companies, and generate profits. However, few companies know about it:
Knowing the principle is already a first step. Applying it correctly is another!
A favourable innovation landscape offers multiple economic opportunities in Belgium. This ensures a strong start, also at regional level with:
FI Group will look at a company’s level of innovation to decide which favourable R&D tax measures can be applied.
In addition to registration with the BELSPO portal and its annual follow-up, the documents needed to prove the R&D+I activities (diplomas, timesheets, individual accounts, etc.), each company must also justify the R&D level.
Our expert consultants consider all the factors that are easily forgotten, in order to achieve the most optimal business results without risk.
To further encourage investment in R&D+I, our FI Group consultants help identify, implement and maintain the necessary financial processes. We support you in understanding and intercepting available R&D+I opportunities.