Overview of eligible costs in Horizon 2020

The Grant Agreement (GA) contains detailed provisions about the eligibility of costs in Horizon 2020. It specifies the criteria for all eligible costs and defines special requirements for the individual cost categories. It is wise to familiarise yourself with these rules at an early stage in order to avoid errors and mistakes in accounting.

The costs must be broken down according to the following standard budget categories at the end of each reporting period:

Accounting is usually based on “actual costsin line with the following requirements:

All actual costs must …

  1. be actually incurred by the participant (no estimated/imputed/budgeted costs),
  2. be incurred in the project period (exception: travel costs for kick-off meeting; costs of final report submitted within 60 days of the end of the project),
  3. be included in the budget (indicated in the estimated budget of the GA; for more information see budget transfers),
  4. be incurred in connection with the action and necessary for its implementation,
  5. be identifiable and verifiable and recorded in the beneficiary’s accounts in accordance with the applicable accounting standards and usual cost accounting practices,
  6. comply with the applicable national laws on taxes, labour and social security, and
  7. be reasonable and justified and comply with the principle of sound financial management (in particular regarding economy and efficiency).

The following costs are not eligible:

  • provisions for future losses or debts
  • interest owed
  • currency exchange losses
  • deductible VAT (Please note: However, VAT is an eligible cost in Horizon 2020 if the project participant is not entitled to deduct input tax. More information can be found under "Downloads" (see below).)

In certain cases defined in the Grant Agreement costs may also be declared as fixed “unit costs”. Evidence must be provided that the “units” are related to the project, necessary for implementing the project and used in the project period.

Indirect costs are reimbursed at a flat rate in Horizon 2020. No documentary evidence is necessary. Lump-sum accounting is currently not possible for standard actions (RIA, IA, CSA).

The costs per project must not exceed the maximum grant amount specified in the GA. If the requested financial contribution of a beneficiary exceeds a specific value (325,000 euros in “actual costs” and “average personnel costs”) a Certificate on the Financial Statements (CFS) issued by a qualified auditor must be submitted together with the final report.

In addition to the costs incurred by the beneficiaries, the receipts of the project must also be reported. Please note that receipts may lead to a reduction of the grant.

Cost accounting and signing of the financial statements by the "Financial Signatory (FSIGN)" of the organisation are carried out electronically in the Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal.


More detailed information about eligible costs and cost reporting in Horizon 2020 can be found ...


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