SME Instrument: Frequent doubts of candidates

Image result for SME instrumentMany of the companies that plan to innovate have doubts about European aid such as Horizon 2020. In this and other blogs, we will discuss the frequent questions that companies have regarding the SME instrument.

We start with those who choose to finance the SME Instrument.

Who can apply for the SME Instrument?

Only for PYMES with profit motive, or consortiums of SMEs with profit motive. All applicants must be legally established in one of the 28 countries of the European Union or in a country associated with HORIZON2020. Other collaborators, such as large companies and research centers, may be involved as third parties, usually through a subcontracting relationship, without necessarily being established in the European Union or being from a country associated with Horizonte2020.

Can I choose as an individual entity?

The answer is Yes, if you are an SME established in a country of the European Union or in a country associated with Horizon2020.

Which is better, request the help as an individual company or as a consortium?

There is no better option than the other. It is a decision of your own to decide how you can best implement the project based on different factors. The differences between an individual project and a consortium project lie in elements such as project ownership and responsibilities, intellectual property agreements or financial viability of the project, and not only in the distribution of tasks.

What type of SME is the SME Instrument focused on?

The European Commission looks for highly innovative, ambitious companies with the potential to develop, grow and have an impact in the European Union or internationally. It is recommended that companies can demonstrate an experience and journey in the field in which they want to develop projects. Interested companies that have a development strategy, that pursue a technological break.

How do I prove that I am an SME according to the EU?

Here you can see the definition of SMEs according to the European Union. If you still do not understand, you can check the extended EU guide here. In addition, the Horizon 2020 beneficiaries register includes a self-assessment questionnaire for SMEs.

How do I register as an SME and what documents do I need to send?

There is no need to send any document. Companies must complete an online questionnaire if they want to register in the SME Instrument in the participant portal. It is a self-assessment questionnaire about your status as a European SME. Only after registration can you start applying for funding. If a company does not agree with the result of the self-assessment, it can request a manual verification. In this case, the validation service will require all the necessary documents for the evaluation.

Is it possible for a start-up (without balance) to request the aid?

Start-ups are not excluded. However, the SME Instrument is not designed to support the creation of companies, but to support companies with innovative ideas and marketing potential in Europe or the world.

Is there a limit on the number of applications or projects that a company can do, or take part at the same time?

YES. You can only make one request, or take part in one project at a time, either in phase 1 or phase 2, either as sole applicant, leader or collaborator in a consortium.
If the applicant or any member of the consortium has already requested funding from the SME Instrument, it is not possible to send any other proposal until the applicant receives confirmation that their project will not be funded. If the proposal has been accepted to finance, during the duration of the project it is not possible to send any other proposal, since this company is not eligible to be financed.

How a self-employed person can pay less in personal income tax thanks to insurance

Image result for self employedWe made progress in the 2014 IRPF campaign and many have already submitted their draft or statement electronically, which this year has also advanced its deadline. But there are also many who, even having made their statement, will wait to present it, the reason, that the result of it is positive.

In order to revert that situation on the present declaration there is no possibility, but there is a possibility to change it for next year. A special case is the self-employed. Unlike the employed worker in whom the withholding is adjusted to his income, the self-employed person has a fixed amount that will be applied to each invoice that this year has gone from 21% to 19%. It will also make quarterly payments on account of 20% of its net income (discounted expenses and withholdings). But this is sometimes not enough and depending on the volume of billing can be found that you must also pay in the annual statement. But to reduce the payment or get a refund, the self-employed has a great ally in insurance.

Thought about the future

One of the best options to reduce the tax bill is through the Insurance Plans Insured (PPAs), a life insurance savings with the guaranteed interest rate and that although it has coverage of death, its main purpose is to constitute a capital or an income to be collected at the time of retirement. This point is very important for the self-employed, since their contribution to Social Security is generally low and with this their future retirement benefit. Taking into account this main purpose, we focus on its excellent taxation. The premiums paid to the PPA, can be subject to reduction in the taxable income of the IRPF, from this year to 8,000 euros a year, provided that this amount does not exceed 30% of the net return of work and economic activities. If so, the limit will be this.

We must not forget that the maximum annual contribution is joint for all social security systems, that is, it includes pension plans, social security mutual funds, insured pension plans, corporate social security plans and dependency insurance.

All are advantages with Health Insurance

Health insurance is also fundamental for the self-employed. The main objective when they are sick is always to recover the work activity as soon as possible and therefore it is necessary to have the best medical attention, quickly and avoiding the waiting lists of the public system. If you also travel frequently, have excellent medical coverage including other related expenses such as moving to our country makes it very important.

To this we add another great advantage, hospitalization benefits that many insurances incorporate and that suppose an additional money that complements the limited provision of Social Security. But those who do not know much are the tax benefits for the self-employed. A private health insurance allows you to deduct up to 500 euros per year in the income tax declaration, including spouse and descendant policies that are under your care.

Having covered benefits as important as health and retirement has its future reward, but also present at the time of rendering accounts with the Treasury.