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What is the EIS1 Form?

Updated: Jan 30

The Enterprise Investment Scheme

The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) is a UK government initiative aimed at promoting investment in early-stage and high-growth companies by offering tax incentives to investors. EIS provides a range of benefits to investors and businesses, including income tax relief, capital gains tax exemption, and loss relief. To benefit from these incentives, investors need to fill out the EIS1 form. This article will discuss the EIS1 form, its purpose, and how to fill it out correctly.


What is the EIS1 Form


Understanding EIS

The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) is a significant initiative in the UK, offering tax reliefs to investors who buy new shares in your company. A critical document in this process is the EIS1 form. This first part of the article delves into what Form EIS1 is, its purpose, and the essential prerequisites for companies before applying.


Eligibility for the EIS Scheme

Before applying for the EIS and consequently for Form EIS1, a company must ensure it meets specific criteria:

  1. Company Requirements:

  • Must have a permanent establishment in the UK.

  • Should not be trading on a recognized stock exchange at the time of the share issue.

  • Cannot control another company unless they are qualifying subsidiaries.

  • Should not be controlled by another company or have more than 50% of its shares owned by another company.

  • The company, along with any qualifying subsidiaries, must not have gross assets worth more than £15 million before the share issue and not more than £16 million immediately afterwards.

  1. Employee Limit:

  • The company should have less than 250 full-time equivalent employees at the time the shares are issued.

  1. Trading Activity:

  • The company must engage in a qualifying trade, and if it's part of a group, the majority of the group’s activities must be qualifying trades.

  1. Use of Funds:

  • The money raised must be used for a qualifying business activity, which includes engaging in a qualifying trade, preparing to conduct such a trade, or research and development leading to such a trade.

  • These funds must be spent within two years of the investment.

  1. Risk to Capital Condition:

  • The investment should pose a risk of loss to capital for the investor and be used to grow or develop the business.


Share Issuance Requirements

The shares issued under the EIS must be full-risk ordinary shares, not redeemable, and without any special rights to the company's assets. They can have limited preferential rights to dividends but cannot allow for accumulation of dividends or variation of the dividend amount.


What is the EIS1 Form?

The EIS1 Compliance Statement, officially known as the EIS Compliance Certificate, is a document that must be submitted by a company seeking to raise funds through the EIS. This statement is a crucial aspect of the application process, as it confirms that the company meets the specific qualifying conditions laid out by the UK government. The EIS1 Compliance Statement must be submitted to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as part of the EIS application process.


Thus, the EIS1 form is a document that investors use to claim tax relief on their investments in EIS-qualifying companies. It is a mandatory form that investors must complete and submit to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to claim EIS tax relief. The EIS1 form is a relatively straightforward document, consisting of just three pages. However, it is essential to complete the form correctly to ensure that investors receive the maximum tax relief available.


Purpose of the EIS1 Form

The primary purpose of the EIS1 form is to provide HMRC with the information needed to determine an investor's eligibility for EIS tax relief. The form provides details about the investor's investment, the EIS-qualifying company, and the shares purchased. Investors must fill out the form accurately and provide all relevant information, including their personal details, the amount invested, the date of investment, and the share price paid.


As mentioned above, the primary purpose of the EIS1 Compliance Statement is to ensure that the company seeking EIS relief meets the necessary criteria set by the UK government. This includes, but is not limited to, the following requirements:


  • The company must be unquoted or listed on a recognized stock exchange, such as the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

  • The company must have a permanent establishment in the UK.

  • The company's activities must fall within the scope of qualifying trades as defined by the EIS legislation.

  • The company must not have raised more than £5 million through EIS, Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), or Venture Capital Trust (VCT) investments in the previous 12 months.

  • The company must not have total assets exceeding £15 million before the share issue or £16 million immediately after the share issue.

  • The company must have fewer than 250 full-time employees or their equivalent at the time of the share issue.

  • By submitting the EIS1 Compliance Statement, the company demonstrates that it meets these conditions and is eligible to participate in the EIS.



Detailed Information Required in Form EIS1

The EIS1 form demands detailed information to ensure compliance with the EIS regulations. This includes:

  1. Personal and Company Details:

  • The form requires personal details such as name, address, and telephone number, along with the company's name being invested in and the investment amount.

  1. Investment Information:

  • Details about the share allocation (in case of a partnership) and other specific investment details are necessary.

  1. Confirmation of Compliance:

  • The form should confirm adherence to the rules and regulations set by HMRC for EIS.


Submission Process of Form EIS1

Submitting the EIS1 form involves a few critical steps:

  1. Where to Obtain the Form:

  • The EIS1 form can be downloaded from the HMRC official website or obtained by contacting the HMRC helpline.

  1. Submitting the Form:

  • The completed form, along with all supporting documents such as investment agreements, share certificates, and other relevant documents, should be posted to HMRC at the address

  • provided on the form itself.


Limitations and Conditions for Using the EIS1 Form

To qualify for tax relief under the EIS, certain limitations and conditions must be met:

  1. Investment in Qualifying Companies:

  • Investments must be made in qualifying companies based in the UK.

  1. Minimum Holding Period:

  • Investors must hold their investment for a specified minimum period.

  1. Adherence to HMRC Rules:

  • Compliance with all rules and guidelines set by HMRC is mandatory.


Provisions for Investments Made in Previous Tax Years

The EIS1 form is primarily for current-year investments, but there are provisions for carry-back relief, allowing investors to claim relief for the previous tax year in certain situations. This requires specific consultation with HMRC.


Deadline for Submitting the EIS1 Form

The submission deadline for the EIS1 form is crucial and depends on the specific tax year in question. It typically falls within a specific timeframe after the end of the tax year in which the investment was made. Ensuring compliance with this deadline is vital to avoid any complications.



Submitting the EIS1 Form


Once investors have completed the EIS1 form, they must submit it to HMRC along with their tax return for the relevant tax year. Investors can claim EIS tax relief for investments made in the current tax year or the previous tax year. It is important to note that investors cannot claim EIS tax relief until the company they invested in has been issued with a compliance certificate by HMRC. This means that the company has met all the necessary EIS requirements and is eligible for EIS tax relief.


The EIS1 Compliance Statement can be submitted to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) online via the government's online portal (which is a better choice), or by post to the following address:


HM Revenue and Customs

EIS Administration

S0920

Newcastle

NE98 1ZZ


If you choose to submit your EIS1 Compliance Statement by post, make sure to send it to the correct address and allow enough time for it to reach HMRC before the deadline.


Before submitting your EIS1 Compliance Statement, make sure that you have completed all the required sections accurately and provided all the necessary supporting documentation, such as copies of the company's memorandum and articles of association, audited accounts, and details of any other investments received.


Once HMRC has received your EIS1 Compliance Statement, they will review it to confirm that your company meets the qualifying conditions for the EIS. If your application is successful, you will receive an EIS Compliance Certificate, which you can provide to potential investors to demonstrate your eligibility for EIS relief.


Submitting the EIS1 Compliance Statement is a critical part of the EIS application process in the UK. By following the guidance provided and ensuring that you've met all the qualifying conditions, you can demonstrate your eligibility for EIS relief and attract investors interested in the tax reliefs offered by the scheme. If you're unsure about any aspect of the application process, seek advice from professional advisors or online resources to ensure that your application is successful.


What Happens After Submitting the EIS1 Form?

Once the EIS1 form is submitted, HMRC reviews the application and the accompanying documents. If everything is in order, they will approve the tax relief. This step is critical as it determines the eligibility of the investors to claim the tax benefits associated with EIS.


Filling out the EIS1 Form


The EIS1 form has to be filled online and it consists of three parts:


Part 1: Investor Details

The first part of the form requires investors to provide their personal details, including their name, address, National Insurance number, and the tax year in which they made the investment.


Part 2: Details of the Investment

In part two of the EIS1 form, investors must provide information about their investment, including the amount invested, the date of investment, and the number of shares purchased. Investors must also provide details of the EIS-qualifying company they invested in, including the name, address, and registered number.


Part 3: Declaration and Signature

The final part of the EIS1 form is a declaration that the investor must sign, confirming that they are eligible for EIS tax relief and that the information provided on the form is accurate and complete.


The declaration also confirms that the investor has received the EIS Information Memorandum, which provides information about the investment and the risks involved. The investor must sign and date the declaration, and provide their National Insurance number.


Submitting the EIS1 Form


Broader Implications and Benefits of the EIS

The EIS is designed to encourage investments in smaller, higher-risk companies by offering significant tax reliefs to investors. These incentives include:


  1. Income Tax Relief: Investors can claim 30% of their investment as income tax relief, reducing their income tax bill significantly. For example, investing £100,000 in an EIS-eligible company can lead to a £30,000 reduction in the income tax bill for that year.

  2. Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Exemption: Gains on EIS investments held for at least three years are exempt from CGT. This means investors can fully enjoy any profit from selling their EIS shares without the burden of CGT.

  3. CGT Deferral: Investors can defer CGT on gains from other assets by reinvesting those gains in EIS-qualifying companies.

  4. EIS Loss Relief: If an EIS investment decreases in value, investors can claim loss relief against either their income tax or CGT bill. This relief can mitigate the financial impact of unsuccessful investments.

  5. Carry-back Rule: Investors can apply the tax relief from EIS investments to the tax year before the investment was made, offering additional flexibility and tax planning opportunities.

  6. Inheritance Tax Relief: After holding EIS shares for two years, investors can potentially claim 100% inheritance tax relief on these shares.


These benefits collectively make the EIS an attractive scheme for investors, contributing to a robust investment environment for small and emerging companies in the UK.


Risks Associated with EIS Investments

While the tax benefits are significant, investing in EIS-qualifying companies carries inherent risks:

  1. High Risk of Capital Loss: EIS companies are typically early-stage businesses, and investments in them are high risk. There's always a possibility that the investment might depreciate, potentially to zero.

  2. Market Volatility: Shares in smaller companies can be more volatile than those in larger, established companies.

  3. Uncertain Tax Relief: Changes in legislation or HMRC's interpretation can impact the availability of EIS tax reliefs.

  4. Personal Circumstances: Tax reliefs are dependent on individual investor circumstances and are not guaranteed.

  5. Limited Exit Opportunities: EIS shares are often unquoted, making them harder to sell and possibly requiring a long holding period.


The Enterprise Investment Scheme, with the EIS1 form as a cornerstone, plays a pivotal role in the UK's investment landscape. While it offers considerable tax incentives to encourage investment in smaller, higher-risk companies, it is crucial for investors to be aware of the associated risks. The scheme has fostered a supportive environment for innovation and growth in the UK economy, benefiting both investors and qualifying companies.


Where to Get Help with Submitting the EIS1 Compliance Statement

Submitting the EIS1 Compliance Statement can be a complex process, and it's essential to ensure that you've met all the qualifying conditions before you submit your application. If you're unsure about any aspect of the application process, or if you need help preparing your application, you can seek advice from a range of professional advisors, including lawyers, accountants, and EIS specialists.


These professionals, like Pro Tax Accountant, can help you prepare your EIS1 Compliance Statement and supporting documentation, provide advice on the EIS legislation, and guide you through the application process. They can also help you ensure that you comply with ongoing reporting requirements, such as the annual EIS compliance statement.


In addition, there is a range of online resources available to help you understand the EIS legislation and application process. The government's EIS webpage provides detailed guidance on the scheme, including eligibility criteria, how to apply, and ongoing reporting requirements.



How a Tax Accountant Can Help You with EIS

A tax accountant can play a crucial role in assisting both investors and businesses with the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) in the UK. Here's how a tax accountant can provide valuable support in navigating the complexities of EIS:


For Businesses Seeking EIS Investment

  1. Guidance on Eligibility and Compliance: A tax accountant can help businesses determine if they are eligible for EIS and assist in ensuring that all the compliance requirements are met. This includes guidance on the types of trades that qualify and the criteria for investor eligibility.

  2. Assisting with Documentation: Submitting an EIS1 compliance statement to HMRC is a critical step for businesses after issuing shares. Tax accountants can help in preparing and submitting this document accurately to ensure that investors can benefit from EIS tax breaks.

  3. Advice on Fundraising Limits: They can provide advice on the limits of fundraising under EIS, ensuring businesses understand the maximum amount they can raise annually and across the company’s lifetime, including amounts from other venture capital schemes.

  4. Structuring Investments: For optimal tax efficiency, tax accountants can assist businesses in structuring their investments and share offerings in a way that maximizes the benefits under EIS.


For Investors in EIS

  1. Maximizing Tax Benefits: Tax accountants can help investors understand and claim the full range of tax reliefs available under EIS, including income tax and capital gains tax relief.

  2. Calculating Loss Relief: In the event of a loss, tax accountants can assist investors in calculating and claiming loss relief. This ensures that investors can offset losses against their income tax or capital gains tax bill, thereby reducing the overall impact of a loss.

  3. Navigating CGT Deferral Relief: For CGT deferral relief, accountants can guide investors on how to defer payment on gains accrued on the investment. This is applicable when the gain is reinvested in an EIS qualifying company.

  4. Investment Timeframe Guidance: They can advise on the minimum holding period for EIS shares to ensure eligibility for tax reliefs, typically a minimum of three years.

  5. Assessment of Risks: Accountants can also help investors assess the risks involved in early-stage investments, balancing the attractive tax benefits against the inherent risks of investing in smaller companies.


In summary, tax accountants play an indispensable role in guiding both businesses and investors through the intricacies of EIS. They provide expertise in tax planning, compliance, documentation, and investment structuring, which is essential for successfully leveraging the benefits of the EIS program.

For detailed services and support related to EIS, firms like Perrys Chartered Accountants and Taxcare specialize in offering comprehensive assistance to both investors and businesses participating in the EIS scheme. They provide strategic advice, assist in identifying qualifying companies, and guide through the application process and tax benefit maximization.



Conclusion

The EIS1 form is a vital document that investors must complete to claim tax relief on their investments in EIS-qualifying companies. The form provides HMRC with the information needed to determine an investor's eligibility for EIS tax relief and must be completed accurately and in full.


Investors must ensure that they have received the EIS Information Memorandum before completing the form and that they submit the form along with their tax return for the relevant tax year.

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