When I began the start up journey a friend who works in the industry said to me “You should look into SEIS tax relief. It’s really cool.”
OK, tax isn’t usually what I think of as ‘cool’ but ‘relief’…everyone loves relief right?...so I did look into it. I have to admit that when I first read about it I didn’t really understand it properly and, now that I do, I do think it’s cool and I’m going to try to explain why it can be for you if you live in the UK.
It turns out that our government has all kinds of schemes and perks to help start up businesses get through the uncertain early years. In addition to many grants they make available directly to businesses, they offer tax relief to people that want to take a risk investing in these fledgling enterprises as it helps promote growth and success.
SEIS (the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme), along with its sibling EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme), are exclusive to the UK as you offset your investment against your HMRC income tax.
When you invest in a company with eligibility for these reliefs you can claim back a healthy portion of your investment in your next income tax bill (50% for SEIS , 30% for EIS). In addition, there’s further protection if the business fails within three years as the government offers an additional rebate through failure relief with the amount you receive varying by your income tax level.
Below is an example table, because I think figures help at this point. For the ease of numbers let’s say you invest £10,000 in a start up that is eligible for SEIS. Here’s how the numbers work out:
So, you invest £10,000 and get a £5,000 reduction on your next income tax bill.
If the business fails within three years, then you can get an additional return based on your income tax level:
With EIS, the amounts you can claim back are also great but if you are thinking of investing then getting SEIS gives the best cover and it gets snapped up first. Because SEIS provides such a high level of relief it is limited to £150,000 of investment.
Here’s a link to an online calculator from Worth Capital if you want to have a play with examples: https://eiscalculator.co.uk/
It’s important to note that no investment is ever guaranteed and you should always seek professional advice rather than just take the word of some blog you have read. SEIS and EIS also can allow further reductions if you have capital gains to offset, and that’s definitely best explained by a qualified professional (and also because I don’t totally understand that one myself).
All that considered, the reason start ups appeal to investors is because of the potential of a multiplied return on your investment. According to a 2019 Telegraph article, 60% of new businesses fail within the first three years, which is probably why the government tailors its failure relief in the table above to that period, but if you do back a good one you have the chance to win big as well as being part of promoting UK business growth. And, for a start up like us, I think that is indeed pretty cool.
ALL IN has recently gained eligibility from HMRC to start SEIS and EIS fundraising. In the next month we will be starting to approach professional investors with a view to closing our fundraising round within the year.
All SEIS allocation will be first come first served and is limited to the first £150,000 total investment so before we go out to investors we are offering the opportunity for information sessions to current users and followers of ALL IN.
If you are interested in a half hour session to talk directly with me about ALL IN, our plans for the future, and potential investment then please contact me to book a commitment free meeting at firstname.lastname@example.org