The fact that all German companies, regardless of size or industry, can apply for the “steuerliche Forschungszulage” is illustrated in the following real-world example. One company shares its experience of getting the 2020 "steuerliche Forschungszulage" (FZulG).

1. Start of the development project

A company with 15 employees develops and produces energy measurement systems. In early 2020, the management - after reviewing the work plan, cost structure and weighing the risks - had started the development of a smart and miniaturized metering sensor. With an important trade show coming up in July 2021, there was a need for urgency in implementation. The application for a grant could no longer be waited for, despite the considerable costs, which were estimated by the company.

  • Implementation period: 18.01.2020 - 30.06.2021
  • Own personnel costs: 40 PM (approx. 280,000 Euro)
  • Material costs: 35,000 euros
  • External development services: 100,000 Euro

Since cost transparency plays an important role in the company, all employees working on the project recorded their hours worked on the project via the time recording system. For this purpose, the company created a separate project in this time system, so that a clear allocation is and was guaranteed.

2. Application for the "steuerliche Forschungszulage"

In January 2021, the CEO became aware of the “steuerliche Forschungszulage” and he decided to apply for it. First, he had to apply for the certificate - this is essentially a technical project application. Here it is important to describe the project in a maximum of 4,000 characters so that the expert from the certification office can understand the research and development content. The certification application also included a cost estimate for the main cost items. However, this is a cost estimate!

3. Receipt of the funding decision

As early as April 2021, the managing director received the certification from the “Bescheinigungsstelle Forschungszulagen“ (certifying body) and thus the recognition of the research project as eligible for funding. This means that the company has a legal claim to this funding.

Since his company had not yet submitted the tax declaration for 2020 to the tax office, he decided to directly submit the “steuerliche Forschungszulage” for 2020. Here, an exact recalculation of the costs incurred in 2020 was made, so that you could claim them against the tax office. This call for funds is submitted to the relevant tax office via the ELSTER portal and then taken into account in the next tax return to be audited.

Since 2020 was heavily influenced by Corona, the tax burden was lower than the “steuerliche Forschungszulage” calculated for 2020. Therefore, the company even receives a payment of the excess amount.

Support from EurA

With over 20 years of expertise in grant consulting, we support you with our technical and business know-how throughout the application process, project implementation and accounting. As a reliable partner at your side, we look at the entire innovation strategy and can build the best funding structure for your company.

Contact us now to have your project subjected to a non-binding funding check and to find out whether your project is suitable for the “steuerliche Forschungszulage”!


Author: Tobias Kübler

Tobias Kübler

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Tobias Kübler

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