Government is about to close a 'Call for Evidence' on Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR). Co-operatives UK is seeking to influence the SITR Review to secure a more useful relief for the sector.
One of our key asks is for government to allow co-operative societies with a social purpose and common ownership ('asset-lock') provisions in their rules to use SITR. Government has created an accreditation scheme that allows shareholder companies to benefit from SITR when they use Social Impact Bonds. Why can't it create an accreditation and checking scheme for co-operative societies as well?
The more government hears from co-operative societies the better chance we will all have of making an impact.
Help us make an impact by submitting a quick response of your own
We have produced a very short template for our co-operative society members to use in a response to government's SITR consultation.
Please also copy us in at [email protected]
Please fill in some brief details about your co-operative society at the beginning of the document.
We really need officials working on this consultation to be aware of the distinctive nature of co-operative societies, especially when it comes to: the nature of social benefits being delivered and the use of common ownership/asset lock provisions in society rules.
The more responses government receives from co-operative societies explaining these things from their own unique perspectives, the better.
Our full response
We have co-produced a detailed response with our members and partners.
Our recommendations for improving Social Investment Tax Relief
- Set a clear policy objective for SITR to enable more social investment on the part of engaged stakeholder/beneficiary communities
- Create a Social Entrepreneurs’ Relief by removing the ‘no employee investors requirement’ from SITR
- Increase the lifetime limit to that set for EIS
- Remove the rules under Section 257MJ of the Income Tax Act 2007 that make investments supporting activities that HMRC would not consider to be a ‘trade’ ineligible for SITR
- Make the community ownership and leasing of assets eligible for SITR
- Remove renewable energy generation and export from the excluded activities list for SITR
- Remove production of primary agricultural products from the excluded activities list for SITR
- Make property development by an asset locked community benefit society, or an accredited co-operative society, eligible for SITR
- Establish criteria and a checking process that allows certain co-operative societies to benefit from SITR
- Create a 50 percent tax relief for seed social investments equivalent to SEIS (‘Seed SITR')
- Remove the seven year age limit for businesses offering SITR to investors
- Develop a scheme whereby social investors can ‘gift’ the value of their SITR to the business they are investing in
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