The EIIS is one of the few remaining sources of total income relief, allowing you to obtain income tax relief on investments in qualifying SMEs. An individual with a taxable income liability in the year the EIIS investment is made can obtain tax relief for the following:
1. PAYE earnings
2. Rental income from property held in a personal capacity
3. ARF distribution income
Tax relief is available in two tranches: an initial 30% in year 1 with a further 10% when additional criteria are met in year 4.
There was a 46pc surge in investments made through the Employment Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS) last year, with a record €108m put into Irish firms, compared with €74.1m in 2015.
New figures from the Revenue Commissioners indicate that companies are succeeding in raising larger sums through the scheme, which replaced the Business Expansion Scheme (BES).
Last year, 261 companies benefited from EIIS, compared with 279 in 2015 and there were 1,768 individual investors as well as three EIIS funds which invest across a range of businesses on behalf of investors.
For example, Goodbody Stockbrokers raised €10m from private clients for a new SME-focused fund to invest in businesses under EIIS.
Among the individual companies which secured funds last year was the Great Northern Distillery in Dundalk, Co Louth, backed by John Teeling, which secured an additional €5m.
The scheme provides relief from income tax to individuals who invest long-term risk capital in unquoted Irish companies.
Participation in the fund has improved significantly on the back of a number of changes to the schemes to make it more attractive to investors.
In 2013, the first full year of operation of the scheme, €42.4m was invested in 190 companies. One of the reasons why investment was lower was because high net worth individuals were believed to be more risk averse after the crash. Shares must be invested for a minimum of four years and a limit of €150,000 applies per person.
(Source: Samantha McCaughren – Irish Independent)