Innovation in all its diversity is important for sustainable economic development in the 21st-century. As the European Union aims to become a real knowledge economy, it has set itself the objective of Research and Development expenditure reaching 3% of GDP in 2020. In addition to measures taken at other policy levels, there are also a number of important tax incentives in favour of research and development (R&D) in Belgium.

For example, there are a number of tax measures in favour of R&D, such as the partial exemption from advance tax payment for researchers and a special tax system for foreign executives who are temporarily working in Belgium. Subject to certain limits, the innovation rewards a worker might receive are not subject to either advance tax payments or social security contributions.

The Belgian authorities also promote investment in R&D activities thanks to "notional interest" and an increased investment deduction or a tax credit for assets that are deemed to promote research and development for new products and advanced technologies. A very attractive deduction on income from intellectual property rights, such as patents, was also introduced.

All these measures make the Belgian tax system very favourable for businesses working in R&D or in the development and use of patents and other intellectual property rights.

R&D is not only encouraged from a fiscal point of view. Various organisations are also available to offer guidance in creating and developing your innovation projects, and grant subsidies.

You can find further information on aids and subsidies on this website.

Last update
26 July 2022