There are four tax-advantaged Venture Capital Schemes currently available:
- The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)
- The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)
- Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and
- The Social Investment Tax relief (SITR)
There are a significant number of qualifying conditions that must be met by companies looking to use any of these schemes. One of the more popular services offered by HMRC is the ability for companies to seek advance assurance that a planned Venture Capital Schemes share issue will meet qualifying conditions. This can help businesses to secure funding by showing potential investors they may be able to claim tax relief.
There are application forms available on GOV.UK for SEIS and EIS advance assurance. For VCTs and SITR there is no specific application form and HMRC should be contacted directly for further assistance. If an application isn’t approved, HMRC will explain why and if possible, a new application can be made for approval.
Since January 2018, HMRC no longer provide an advance assurance on speculative applications. This change was put in place to help reduce the time it was taking for applications to be processed. HMRC does not require a company applying for advance assurance to have formalised offers of investment but rather to have some potential investors on board, who are likely to invest if advance assurance is granted.