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Tax research allowance: companies in discussion with the BSFZ

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Since 2020, taxable companies in Germany investing in R&D have been able to receive a tax bonus. Together with three partners, DLR Projektträger (DLR-PT), as the certifying body for the research allowance, checks on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) whether companies are eligible. 

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10th March 2022 — The tax-based research funding, also known as the research allowance, is intended to promote innovation in Germany and is available to all researching companies – regardless of size, legal form or industry. Small, medium-sized and large companies as well as sole proprietors can benefit from a tax bonus of up to one million euros per year. In order to reach as many companies as possible, the tax-based research promotion is designed as a broad-based promotion. Above all, the research bonus is intended to be a real incentive for small and medium-sized enterprises to invest even more in research and development.

First experiences with the tax bonus

Managing directors of funded companies spoke with the Research Grant Certification Office (BSFZ) about their experiences with the tax research grant. The first interviews can be found in the “Infothek” (information point) of the BSFZ website. In addition to information on how to apply, interested parties can find out which aspects of this funding instrument are important to those who have received funding, why they recommend tax-based research funding to others and that most of them are repeat offenders when it comes to research grants.

Fully digital and uncomplicated application process

The tax incentives are well received by entrepreneurs. "The research allowance helps us here. Because if I know I'm getting support, I'll be more willing to try something out," says Ute Poerschke. She is the director of ELSCHUKOM GmbH, a family-run company in Thuringia with about 100 employees that produces fine wire. For her, the research grant offers exactly what her company needs. "The application process is streamlined and simple. I can start working with an open mind and don't have to wait for approval," Poerschke explains.

AiF Projekt GmbH, VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH and DLR-PT take care of the first step in the two-stage, fully digital application process as part of the joint BSFZ. Here, experienced scientists assess the companies' research projects for their eligibility for funding under the Research Grants Act (FZulG). Initially, all that is required is a brief description of the research project. If the experts come to the conclusion that the proposed project is research and development, companies can apply for the research allowance at the responsible tax office in the second step.

DLR-PT as a partner for SMEs

DLR-PT has many years of expertise in working with small and medium-sized enterprises. Within the framework of numerous projects on behalf of the Federal Government, the Länder and the European Union, experts advise and help with the application and implementation of projects as well as with the transfer of results into practice, for example within the framework of the SME programmes "Mittelstand Digital", "Digital Jetzt" and "go-Inno". The database on the DLR-PT website provides more information on the relevant funding offers and programmes managed by DLR-PT.

Main and Other Contacts

Contact at DLR Projektträger