WBSO grant

Dutch tax credit scheme for R&D activities

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Research and development for companies

Promoting Research and Development Act (WBSO)

The WBSO grant (Wet Bevordering Speur- en Ontwikkelingswerk, Salaries Tax and Social Insurance Contributions (Reduced Remittances) Act) is the most important fiscal innovation scheme for Dutch enterprises that carry out research and development projects. With this scheme, you can reduce the wage costs and expenses of your R&D project by paying less wage tax. The available budget for the WBSO in 2023 is 1,370 million euros.

In short

WBSO overview

For whom?

Dutch enterprises:

  • Entrepreneurs and their employees who conduct R&D (R&D withholding agents).
  • Self-employed persons who conduct R&D (R&D tax payers).

When to apply?

The 2022/2023 WBSO application round runs from 22 June 2022 to 10 January 2023. The grants are awarded subject to budget availability (i.e. on a ‘first come, first served’ basis).

How much?

The rate for the first bracket is 32%. This applies to R&D costs and expenses up to € 350,000. For starters, the percentage is somewhat higher, namely 40%. For all costs above € 350.000,- the rate is 16%.

For what?

R&D is defined as systematically organised and performed activities in an EU Member State by an R&D withholding agent or R&D tax payer, which are directly and exclusively aimed at:

  • The development of physical products, physical production processes, or software, or parts thereof, that are technically novel for the R&D withholding agent or R&D tax payer
  • Conducting technically scientific research projects (the result of which leads to new knowledge)
  • Costs and expenses you incur in carrying out your own R&D project.

What this grant covers

Grant rates in 2023

The grant covers part of the wage costs for R&D and other R&D costs and expenses, in the form of:

  • a reduction in the payroll tax and social insurance contributions for the R&D hours worked, or:
  • an increase in the income tax allowance of self-employed tax payers.

The percentages and amounts for the R&D salary costs in 2023 are:

  • 32% of the first 350,000 euros in R&D salary costs (first wage maximum)
  • 40% of the first 350,000 euros in R&D salary costs for a start-up company
  • 16% of the remaining wage amount (above 350,000 euros)
  • The height of the allowance for self-employed persons (who have performed at least 500 R&D hours in a calendar year) was 13,360 euros in 2022
  • The additional allowance for start-up self-employed persons was 6,684 euros in 2022.
  • The amounts applicable in 2023 for (start-up) self-employed persons will be announced at the end of the year.

For the other R&D costs and expenses you can opt for the actual costs and expenses or for the fixed rate. If you do not opt for the actual costs and expenses, but for the fixed rate, then the following surcharges on the R&D hourly wage within the calendar year apply:

  • up to 1,800 hours: an increase of the R&D hourly wage of 10 euros;
  • an increase of 4 euros for the additional hours on top of the 1,800 hours.


Meet the requirements

WBSO criteria

The most important WBSO conditions are:

For Dutch companies.

Own R&D personnel (on Dutch payroll) carry out the activities.

These are technically new developments in the area of products, processes, software or technical-scientific research.

The activities are technically new for your company; therefore, there are no ready-made solutions on the market.

You can only apply for a subsidy for future R&D activities. It is not possible to apply for this subsidy retroactively.

Your company solves any bottlenecks in the developments itself.

Your company pays tax on profits or income tax.

Are you self-employed? Then you must spend at least 500 hours annually on development (e.g., zzp or sole trader).

Conducting market research, economic feasibility studies and administrative activities are not covered by this tax scheme.

Why this grant

Purpose of WBSO

The purpose of this scheme is to stimulate research and development (or Research & Development). You can apply for subsidies for product development, for development of physical production processes and software development. You can also apply for a subsidy for conducting technical-scientific research.

“I have a technical background in environmental and energy science. At EGEN, I usually work for clients working on innovative circular projects. I discuss opportunities to make the project possible with my clients or to make the project a bit more financially attractive.”

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Tim Huitema



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