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enterprise investment Scheme (EIS): increases to qualifying thresholds

3 August 2012

Some of the changes to the EIS qualifying conditions pre-announced in the Budget have now been confirmed as taking effect for EIS investments from 6 April 2012. There are welcome increases to the following limits applying to the target investment company:

  • the maximum permitted number of employees has increased from 50 to 250;
  • the maximum gross assets before/after the investment has increased from £7M/£8M to £15M/£16M respectively;
  • the overall annual limit on investments in a company under the EIS, Venture Capital Trust and Corporate Venturing Schemes has increased from £2m to £5M.

Combined with the current income tax relief rate of 30% and a capital gains tax exemption for qualifying EIS shares, plus the new Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), the government is clearly trying to encourage more investment from business angels and other individuals into the UK SME and startup sector.

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