A special rule was introduced for one-off innovation premiums aimed at stimulating the capacity for innovation of companies engaged in research and development. The measure, which always has a limited validity, has been extended and will apply until 31 December 2020.
Reminder: the amounts paid to the employee as a one-off innovation premium are not regarded as wages. They are therefore exempt from employers' and personal social security contributions and personal income tax. However, the premiums must meet all of the following conditions:
- they are granted for innovation (innovative, spontaneous and internal);
- they are not granted in lieu of wages;
- they are paid to employees who are tied to the employer by an employment contract;
- the number of employees enjoying a premium cannot exceed 10 per innovation;
- they are granted per calendar year to a maximum of:
- 3 employees in enterprises with less than 30 employees;
- 10% of the workforce in companies with at least 30 employees;
- they are reasonable. The total sum of the premiums granted during one calendar year, shall not exceed 1 % of the aggregate wages which the employer has declared for that calendar year. Moreover, the amount of the premium per worker per calendar year shall not exceed one month's wages;
- the criteria, the procedures and the identification of the project forming the subject of premiums must be published within the company and must be communicated to the FPS Economy and the NSSO.
Source: Act of 17 June 2019 implementing the draft inter-professional agreement 2019-2020, Belgian Official Gazette of 17 June 2019, https://economie.fgov.be/fr/themes/entreprises/developper-et-gerer-une/soutien-et-primes/prime-dinnovation.