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WBSO Compliance explained

With the WBSO subsidy, wage costs for research and development work can be reduced. R&D can entail the development of a product, production process and software. In addition, the WBSO is also intended for technological scientific research. The innovation process must be carried out by the company's own personnel. The WBSO scheme can also lead to an income tax advantage for entrepreneurs. The grant is applied for prior to or during the innovation process. The tax credit that the WBSO entails only applies to future R&D activities, so it does not have retroactive effect. In addition, a number of conditions must be met.

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What is WBSO compliance?

Compliance is a professional term for compliance with applicable laws and regulations in an organization. For the WBSO, you must be "compliant" after being awarded it, in order to keep it. Basically, it is an expensive term that means that you have to fulfill requirements to comply with the laws and regulations of the RVO. You must be able to demonstrate that you have made efforts as described in the application. You do this by keeping time records and project records.

What does that look like in practice?

In the WBSO application, an estimate of how many hours will be spent on R&D activities during the project is made. You keep this in the time administration, so that it is visible afterwards that the claimed hours have actually taken place. You do this for each person, per day, per project. There must be a clear distinction between the activities that fall under the WBSO and those that do not. In the case of software development, the produced code must be visible in the version control system.

The project administration includes the nature, content and progress of the project. Here you indicate what the goal of the project is. In addition, you indicate what the bottlenecks are and how you are going to achieve the goal. Finally, note the progress. Look here for tips for the WBSO administration!

Control visit

The RVO can announce a control visit in which the entire administration of a WBSO project is inspected. This is possible for current projects as well as for a closed financial year, up to 7 years ago. Therefore, organizations must officially keep documentation up to 7 years ago.

After the RVO has examined the realised hours, it looks substantively at the bottlenecks and who contributed from the company's own payroll. If the administration is in order, you retain the right to WBSO. If the time and project records do not provide a clear insight into the scope, nature, content and progress, a civil servant can take various decisions. Oftentimes, official advice is given. This advice is aimed at improving the administration so that it becomes compliant. In addition, this includes the agreement that the administration fully complies with the advice at a subsequent inspection.

Sometimes a recalculation takes place, for example when fewer R&D hours have been realized than specified. In that case you have to pay back and the reimbursement will be lower. In the worst case you will be fined.

How do we set up compliance?

In summary, the story is not over after your WBSO application has been approved. The administration must be well organized. This is part of our service and that is why we devote a lot of time and attention to it. Because we have knowledge of various time registration, project management and version management systems, we know well which tools support a balanced administration. This makes it easy to fit the project administration into the current business operations. Together with the project manager, we determine which method best suits the organization.