After getting your game financed, keeping your company in good financial health will be one of the main challenges you will face as a small, or even medium sized games studio. While we are still pulling our weigt to expand the Tax Shelter for audiovisual productions (link in Dutch) to include game development, there are already some other interesting measures in place to support the #BelgianGamesIndustry – some of them recently improved as a result of the government’s summer agreement.
- Combined with the recently reduced corporation tax (20% for SME’s) innovation deduction (link in Dutch) in Belgium has become ultra competitive compared to other EU/OECD countries. If you’re not confident about the numbers, you can always request a financial ruling (link in Dutch) for free to be sure. We’re glad to see some of our game companies are already taking advantage of this and we hope many more will follow suit.
- Thanks to the Tax Shift (link in Dutch) labor costs are going down and game studios should be able to hire staff more easily. On the employer’s side patronal contributions will be slashed starting this year and keep going down in 2019. As a result of this, employees will receive a bigger net income. On top of that there’s a special discount for start-up companies of 10% to 20% of the witholding tax during the first four years.
- Also, let’s not forget about the seed capital start-up plan from Digital Belgium, combining four measures to stimulate start-ups, scale-ups and SME’s. The government is also working an a superfund for tech scale-ups to prevent them from moving abroad as soon as their business has taken off. However, we’re not sure if this will be of interest to most of our local game companies, as the criteria might not be applicable to the biggest part of our game developers.
Meanwhile, we’ll keep fighting the good fight to get the tax shelter incentive this industry deserves.