Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR)
SITR is the newest tax relief for private investors. It operates in a similar way to the Enterprise Investment Scheme but is open to social enterprises that have a defined and regulated social purpose.
What is a social enterprise?
A social enterprise is an organisation that applies commercial strategies to maximise improvements in human and environmental well-being, which may include maximising social impact alongside profits for external shareholders.
There are already hundreds of social enterprises in the UK and the BBC has reported that social enterprises in the UK are thriving. A good example is the Freedom Bakery, which was set up by Matt Fountain in 2015 to provide employment opportunities for ex-offenders in Scotland and lower the reoffending rate.
Most SITR investments are likely to be made in the form of interest bearing loans
How does SITR work?
Social enterprises can issue unsecured debt finance or equity. The maximum that can be raised by an organisation is approximately £250,000 over three years (technically €344,827 under European state aid rules). Organisations must be less than 7 years old and have fewer than 250 employees.
Most SITR investments are likely to be made in the form of loans bearing a fixed rate of interest. This interest will usually be distributed to investors, net of 20% tax and will constitute taxable income. Since the loans are unsecured investors should expect there to be some defaults and so a diversified portfolio is essential.
We expect most SITR schemes will be marketed as ‘funds’ but they will actually be discretionary investment agreements which allow the manager to allocate each investor’s subscription across a number of projects. A tax certificate will be issued after each investment is made and will apply to the tax year in which the investment is made.
Available SITR schemesThere are currently a limited number of SITR offers open for investment:
|Name||Social purpose||Regional focus||Closing dates||Raised / sought||Min. investment|
|Resonance Bristol SITR Fund||Dismantling poverty||Bristol||Open||£1.3m /£5m.||£25,000||View details|
|A pioneering social impact investment fund aimed at helping to dismantle poverty in Bristol and the surrounding area by investing in social enterprises.|
How to invest
SITR schemes are classified by the FCA as Non Readily Realisable Securities. These can only be promoted to investors who seek regulated advice, are classified as High Net Worth or Sophisticated investors or are prepared to certify that they will invest less than 10% of their net investable assets in such securities. If you fall into any of these categories, please contact us for further information:
The information set out above is included for information purposes only and is not an offer or an invitation to buy or sell or a solicitation of an offer or invitation to buy or sell or enter into any agreement with respect to any security, product, service or investment.
Any opinions expressed do not constitute investment advice and independent advice should be sought where appropriate. All information is current as of the date of publication, subject to change without notice, and may become outdated over time. Links to third party sites or pages are for information purposes only and such sites and pages are not part of this website or the responsibility of EQ Investors Limited and have not have been reviewed or verified by EQ Investors Limited. Following links to or from any other sites or pages shall be at your own risk.
Social Investment Tax Relief schemes should be regarded as higher risk investments, suitable only for experienced investors who are able to withstand losses or for investors only investing less than 10% of their investable assets.