An Enterprise Investment Scheme [EIS] is a measure put in place by the UK government to promote investment. It is a tax relief incentive meant to make a purchase of company’s shares attractive, thereby attracting potential investors. EIS relieves investors of 30 percent of what would have been paid, resulting in a reduced Income Tax for the investor. Also, there is an exemption for Capital Gains Tax payable on the shares purchased whenever the investor decides to sell. Meanwhile, the amount of relief an investor can lay claim to every year is no more than £300,000.
To qualify for EIS, the investor must have had the shares for a minimum of three years. Any shares purchased without immediate payment does not qualify for EIS, therefore investors should pay up front. The purchased shares must also be ‘ordinary shares’ (shares that represent a proportionate ownership of a company and supply each investor with voting rights) which possess the same level of risk with EIS as a standard company investment without. The scheme does not permit individuals with an existing financial interest in a company to enjoy tax relief and does not give room for any selfish tax arrangement. It could become a loss on an investor’s part if he solely invested in someone else’s company on the condition that in return, they would invest in his.
At Nordens, we warn our clients against making uninformed choices. The desire to enjoy EIS tax relief should not be a reason to sacrifice adequate and critical decision-making. We are always available to help you make informed decisions on enjoying EIS tax relief. Although business is a risk, nothing should stop you from doing your business well. That is why Nordens is here for everyone. As a means of raising capital for start-ups, let’s help your business establish proposals that will help them meet the regulations of EIS; our team of professional accountants will complete all paperwork requirements and get you the certificate without delay.
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Here at Nordens, we understand that you want to know more about the Enterprise Investment Scheme. To keep you well-informed, here’s a list of our most frequently asked questions:
Enterprise Investment Scheme is a tax relief measure adopted by the government in 1994 to help startups raise capital. EIS is also an investor’s secret to enjoying a good return on investment (ROI). You may be wondering what the scheme has got to do with investors. Well, while trying to encourage small business enterprises, the scheme also attracts a company’s potential investor by issuing them tax relief. Although investing in a company with an EIS certificate involves a higher risk, it is also possible to enjoy incredible ROI if informed decisions are made through the help of an investment advisor or expert.
Not all businesses qualify for Enterprise Investment Scheme. In order to qualify, a company or social enterprise must be permanently established in the United Kingdom. Also, it must be involved in a trade that qualifies. A trade qualifies if 20% and more of its activities include: leasing, research and innovation, legal or financial services, production of gas, banking and insurance, among others. Also, other requirements for qualification include that the company must be ready to spend the investment on a qualifying trade, and must be under the control of another company.
Knowledge-intensive companies are those companies that are engaged in carrying out research, innovative works and groundbreaking development projects during the period when they are issuing shares. This knowledge-based trade must, however, be the company’s main business focus within the next ten years, or, 25% of its employees should be engaged in research and innovation while the shares are issued. Potential investors focus on these companies because they attract special attention and status under the Enterprise Investment Scheme. This special status makes it possible for them to raise more investment than the companies that are not.
Tax breaks are measures put in place to reduce a taxpayer’s liability and make room for savings. Tax breaks reduce the amount of money payable as tax by individuals and companies. The most popular methods of tax breaks include: tax deductions from gross income to reduce the taxable income; tax credits; tax exemptions or eliminations. One of the objectives of tax breaks is to help the government improve the economy. This is because the amount of money which taxpayers have increases, enabling them to have a higher purchasing power.
There is no designated minimum amount you can invest in EIS, although the amount will eventually depend on the investment manager. As an investor, you can put a maximum of £1m or £2m or more in Enterprise Investment Scheme qualifying businesses. It should be money which you don’t intend to have access to in a short period of time. However, if it goes beyond that, you may not enjoy income tax relief on the extra investment.
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