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The Growth Plan 2022: Chancellor extends reliefs and incentives for business investment

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Published: 26 Sep 2022 Update History

EIS and VCT schemes extended and scope of SEIS and CSOP schemes widened.
The government’s priority is to encourage growth in the private sector, which it sees as key to turbocharging productivity to meet its growth targets. As part of this, it is extending some investment schemes and widening the scope of others.

EIS and VCT

The enterprise investment scheme (EIS) and venture capital trust (VCT) schemes will be extended. Previously, sunset clauses meant that the schemes, which offer general tax reliefs to individual investors in small businesses, were due to end by 6 April 2025.

In its response to the venture capital market call for evidence, published by the Treasury Committee on 28 April 2022, ICAEW said that allowing these schemes to lapse would lead to a significant gap in early stage equity finance. This announcement is welcome.

SEIS

From 6 April 2023, the amount of investment that companies can raise through seed enterprise investment scheme (SEIS) funding is being increased from £150,000 to £250,000.The qualifying criteria are also being made more generous:

  • the gross asset limit is being increased to £350,000 (from £200,000); and
  • the limit on the age of the company’s qualifying trade is being increased from two years to three
For investors, the annual limit on the amount of SEIS investments that an individual can make will be doubled to £200,000 per tax year. As the percentage of the investment on which tax relief can be claimed is 50%, this could potentially allow investors income tax relief worth £100,000 per year, plus associated capital gains reinvestment relief, provided the conditions are met.

CSOP

From 6 April 2023, the limit on the value of shares that can be awarded to each individual employee under the company share option plan (CSOP) scheme is being doubled to £60,000. CSOP schemes may be used by any size of company, so the government hopes that this will support businesses in attracting and retaining talent.

A condition that limits the types of shares eligible for inclusion within the scheme will also be removed to better align the scheme rules with the enterprise management incentive (EMI) scheme and widen access to CSOP for growth companies.

Read more on the changes to CSOP in HMRC’s latest Employment Related Securities Bulletin.
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