The A-Z guide for (S)EIS investors

  • 4 min read
  • Last updated 20 Dec 2023

Here’s everything you need to know when dealing with your (S)EIS investment. You probably know the basics, but we know you want the details jargon-free and to the point.

Your wish is our command✨

What is (S)EIS?

SEIS, or Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, and EIS, or Enterprise Investment Scheme, are incentives set up by the UK government to encourage people to invest in small businesses and start-ups.

There are tax-efficient benefits the scheme can provide for you as an investor. Specifically, we’re here to help claim your 30% (EIS) or 50% (SEIS) Income Tax Relief.

In this guide, (S)EIS refers to both SEIS and EIS. 

Benefits of (S)EIS

As an investor, you get a few tax reliefs and benefits from investing in (S)EIS schemes. They’re both almost identical, but let’s get into the details. 

For EIS companies these are the main ones:

  • 30% Income Tax relief – for the investment amount, in the tax year that you invest
  • If you use any capital gains to invest in an EIS startup, you can defer the tax on it
  • 0% Capital Gains Tax when you exit/sell the investment
  • 100% relief if the company you invested in goes bust
  • 0% Inheritance Tax
  • You can invest up to £1,000,000 per tax year.

SEIS is almost identical to EIS, except for two things:

  • You get 50% Income Tax relief
  • You can only invest up to £100,000 per tax year

What tax do you pay when you sell your shares?

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is the tax you pay when you sell an asset for a profit. 

However, for (S)EIS shares, you’ll be 100% exempt from paying any Capital Gains Tax as long as you:

  • Claim the Income Tax relief
  • Hold the shares for at least 3 years 

This is one of the biggest reasons why (S)EIS investments are considered one of the most tax-efficient investments

How do you claim the Income Tax relief?

There are three ways you can claim your Income Tax relief. 

  1. You can claim it yourself through HMRC
  2. You can claim it via your Self Assessment tax return, which you can do through TaxScouts for any investments you’ve made
  3. You can use the TaxScouts x Crowdcube (S)EIS solution if you’ve invested through Crowdcube

What’s the TaxScouts x Crowdcube solution?

We’ve partnered with Crowdcube to help you claim your (S)EIS tax relief, without the fuss. If you’re a Crowdcube investor, this one’s for you. 

If you only want to claim your tax relief on its own, you can for £25 for up to 5 (S)EIS certificates. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get started

If you’re claiming your tax relief through your tax return, we can help there too. Our accredited accountants will claim your tax relief for you, and sort and file your tax return. Plus, Crowdcube investors get a discount!

What happens if you or the company you invested in exits within the 3-year period?

If you or the company you’ve invested in exits before you’ve held your shares for 3 years, you’ll be subject to something called clawback. 

Clawback means that you’ll have to repay any EIS Income Tax relief you received, plus any profit you make over £6,000 will be subject to CGT. 

You’ll need to speak to HMRC and inform them of the situation so you can repay the tax you owe, if any.

What happens if the company you invested in fails?

If the (S)EIS business fails, you’ll receive loss relief, which acts as added protection when buying riskier shares. 

EIS loss relief is a type of relief available when:

  • You sell your shares at a loss – selling your shares for less than what you bought them for
  • The shares you bought are worth nil (nothing or next to nothing)
  • The company goes bust/fails

Because you lost money from your investment in an (S)EIS company, you’re eligible for tax relief which allows you to reduce your tax bill. 

You can claim the tax relief against your Income Tax or your Capital Gains tax. Read our step-by-step guide on (S)EIS loss for all the information you need on how and where to claim your relief.

What if the company is liquidated or dissolved?

You can also claim the loss relief if the (S)EIS company you invested in liquidates or is dissolved for genuine commercial reasons.

 HMRC defines “genuine commercial reasons” as a company that “is insolvent or is likely to become insolvent”. Insolvency is similar to bankruptcy for business. It essentially means that the company cannot pay its debts or outgoing payments. 

In this case, you wouldn’t be able to use our usual tax return service. Instead, contact our support team about your situation via email at [email protected] or via the live chat on our website for more guidance. You’ll be matched with an accredited accountant who will quote you separately for the work and you can get going🚀

Can TaxScouts help?

Yes, we can! 

Not only can we claim your Income Tax relief for you (separately or through your tax return) but we can also help you claim any loss relief if you need to through your Self Assessment.

If you need tax advice on your situation, you can also book a 1:1 consultation with an accredited accountant who specialises in (S)EIS.

Pro tip: You can bundle our tax return and tax advice services and save £39🎉

Our support team is also always happy to lend a hand. Get in touch via email at [email protected] or via the live chat on our website!

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