Belgium Tax: Deadline approaching for R&D investment deduction / tax credit certificate request
Belgian tax law provides for a number of tax incentives to stimulate R&D, including the option to claim either an investment deduction or a tax credit for R&D expenses (in addition to the full deductibility of the R&D expenses). Both incentives are available for certain "environmentally friendly investments in R&D" and for patents that are recorded as fixed assets in the company's financial accounts and depreciated over a minimum period of three years.
To claim the tax deduction or credit for "environmentally friendly investments in R&D," the company must be in possession of a certificate issued by the (Flemish, Walloon or Brussels) Region in which the investment is located. The application for a certificate should provide evidence that the R&D investments are made to develop assets that have no negative environmental impact or, if there is an environmental impact, that the company has taken the necessary measures to limit the impact.
Both the Brussels Region and the Walloon Region require that the certificate be requested within three months after the close of the financial year of the qualifying company. Thus, for companies with a year-end closing on 31 December 2009, the certificate must be requested before 31 March 2010. Although the Flemish Region has not specifically set a deadline, we recommend that affected companies use the 31 March deadline as a safe harbor for investments in this region.