Budget and Costs Calculation

Budgetary Conditions

The Rules for Participation provide information about the standard budgetary conditions.

The Annotated model grant agreement provide detailed explanations on the budgetary items.

Most significant new budgetary rules in Horizon 2020:

Personnel costs

  • Wider acceptance of average personnel costs (now under unit costs).
  • Acceptance of supplementary payments for non-profit organisations, up to €8,000/year/person.
  • Simpler participation for SMEs – new unit cost system for SME owners and physical persons without a salary.
  • No time records for researchers working exclusively on the project.

Indirect cost: Unique flat rate of 25%

The Financial Regulation adopted by the Commission in 2012 simplified the calculation of costs related to European projects as follow:

Actual costs cover the real costs incurred in a project. To count as actual, these costs have to be identifiable, verifiable and recorded in the accounts of the beneficiary. Actual personnel costs can be claimed based on the calculation method given in the Annotated Model Grant Agreement, which defines three possible hourly rates to be used. A newness compared to FP7 rules is the eligibility of non-deductible value-added tax (VAT).

Unit costs represent a fixed amount per unit of measure. In specific cases, personnel costs also fall in this category and can be declared based on the beneficiary’s usual accounting practices. For example, owners of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who do not receive a salary may claim their personnel costs in this form. Also, Marie Curie Actions use unit costs to cover the salary expenses of the researchers.

Flat rates consist of a percentage that is calculated on a given basis. In Horizon 2020, the flat rate is currently only used for claiming indirect costs. This flat rate has been set to 25% of direct eligible costs.

Lump sums are a single amount to cover one or several cost categories. The conditions for the use of lump sums and the related amounts are described in the Work Programmes.


The Source: Participant Portal H2020 Online Manual

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