The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and the recently introduced Seed EIS provide generous tax breaks for investors who subscribe for shares in qualifying companies provided the correct procedures, and in particular the correct forms, are used to claim tax relief.
Seed EIS provides income tax relief of 50% of the amount invested and EIS 30% relief, both given by way of a deduction from the investor’s income tax liability. Furthermore there is an exemption from capital gains tax when the shares are sold after 3 years.
In a recent case before the Tax Tribunal, tax relief for Seed EIS investors was denied by HMRC and the Tribunal as the directors had filled in the wrong HMRC forms! They tried to save costs by not using professional advisers – a very costly mistake!