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Changes To The EIS Advance Assurance Process

Speeding up the application process ...



If you are thinking of applying for EIS Advance Assurance, you need to be aware of some changes. HMRC acknowledge the process was creaking at the seams and that something needed to be done ...

HMRC knows the EIS Advance Assurance process is creaking at the seams!

HMRC knows the EIS Advance Assurance process is creaking at the seams!

copyright: elnur / 123rf stock photo

Following on from a consultation, the Government has acknowledged that streamlining is needed. This is welcome, as the mounting backlog of applications is only going to increase as more companies apply for EIS Advance Assurance when the new higher limits kick in from April.

More HMRC staff have been deployed to SCEC to help speed up the processing of applications, and there is a commitment to continue to operate the EIS Advance Assurance process.

As of 13 March 2018:

  • Increasingly, the process will be digitised.

  • EIS Assurance Applications will be considered by HMRC where the information about a proposed investment is provided.

  • This is a discretionary and non-statutory service. HMRC have no obligation to provide an opinion and may actually decline to do so.

  • If a company is relying on a specific interpretation to support its application, it must provide a full technical analysis of the relevant laws and how its circumstances comply with that law.

  • The publication announces that HMRC will now not provide assurance on speculative applications and will only provide an opinion where the application names the individuals, fund managers or other funders who are expected to make the investment. This is a new level of required detailed disclosure. HMRC does not expect investment offers to have been formalised, but it does expect the company to have approached potential investors and to be able to set out details of the investment that would be agreed on receipt of the EIS Advance Assurance.

  • HMRC will apply new 'risk to capital anti-avoidance criteria' which starts on 6 April 2018. Any applications in respect of investments to be made after this date should set out evidence regarding the risk to capital that investors will be exposed to.

    HMRC will not provide an EIS Advance Assurance opinion if they conclude the investment is classed as capital preservation.

  • HMRC are working to improve its written guidance, and this will include publishing a checklist of supporting documents that need to be submitted to HMRC as part of the EIS Advance Assurance submission.

In addition to the above Government response, a new consultation has been launched in relation to an EIS knowledge-intensive fund for financing growth in innovative firms.

This seeks to explore why some knowledge-intensive businesses are unable to obtain the capital funding they require. This consultation states that the Government does not intend to introduce any new scheme, but envisages a new fund model that would build on existing EIS rules.

"Would you like to know more?"

If you require any assistance with the EIS Advance Assurance process, do call me on 01908 774323 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.

Until next time ...


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More about Helen Beaumont ...

Helen brings the personal tax planning experience of the top 20 tax companies to Essendon. Formerly of MacIntyre Hudson (with 45 offices nationwide), Helen worked at Chancery for more than 10 years before joining Essendon as the personal tax specialist.

Tax Planning can make a considerable difference to your tax liability. Helen has specialist knowledge and experience in tax planning and uses every opportunity to minimise your tax bill is utilised. By analysing your investments, income, profit and expenditures, Helen will provide strategic tax planning expertise that could offer significant savings, whilst delivering clear, honest advice and guidance.

When Helen is not at Essendon she spends time with her young son and likes going on long walks with the family dog.