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  • Service: Tax, International Tax
  • Type: Regulatory update
  • Date: 12/5/2013

Belgium - EC investigates R&D incentives, tax exemption 

December 5:  The European Commission announced the launch of “an in-depth investigation” to determine whether Belgium’s implementation of a system of support for innovative companies—i.e., research and development (R&D) incentives—is in line with EU rules on state aid.

According to the EC release, the examination will consider terms under which a certain number of Belgian companies have benefited from tax relief. Specifically, the EC will examine a R&D inventive system (approved in 2006) that exempted certain innovative companies from paying payroll tax on a portion of remuneration paid to scientific personnel.


Originally, Belgium had pledged to incorporate into its laws the definitions of the types of research eligible for tax breaks under European rules on state aid for research, development, and innovation. However, the EC subsequently found out that Belgium had not introduced these definitions until 2013—seven years after the R&D system had been approved.


The EC stated that at this point in the investigation, Belgium had not provided sufficient information to dispel certain EC doubts.




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