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Does anybody provide a list of shares which are eligible for UK's Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) relief ?

For instance, do any of the online share screeners allow screening for EIS eligibility, or provide information on the EIS status of AIM shares? Perhaps one of the paid-for investor services, or online subscription brokers provides this information.

I am aware of investment services which try to invest their clients money in EIS eligible securities. However I am hoping for a service which allows me to choose the company and make the investment, rather then trusting this to others.

From what I read, many AIM companies apply to the HMRC for an "Advance Assurance" certificate giving the HMRC's judgment as to whether investments in the company can be eligible for EIS tax relief. I therefore guess I am asking if it is possible to find out which companies have been granted an Advance Assurance Certificate.

  • Great question… I think it's two separate questions ("can I find out who's been granted Advance Assurance" and "can I get EIS tax relief buying shares on AIM") so I will answer the second in the hope that it frames the first in a different light. – marktristan Feb 21 '18 at 19:02
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AIM shares only qualify for EIS tax relief if you are subscribing to a new share issue – i.e. buying them directly from the company issuing the shares.

This is either in an IPO, or a subsequent placement of the shares.

Shares bought and sold on the secondary market, i.e. through a stockbroking service, don't qualify for EIS tax treatment.

Re: Advance Assurance – if you're investing directly in a private company offering an EIS investment round, they will tell you whether they have advance assurance or not. To participate in a new share issue on AIM, however, my understanding is that you need to be committing a substantial amount of capital and therefore need to be an institutional investor (or high net worth / family office) to get to know about it.

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  • You were right marktristan. I had not appreciated the need to invest in companies issuing new shares in order to be eligible for EIS tax benefits. Since I prefer to rely on an established market price, I don't want to buy on IPO. Also as I understand them, subsequent share placements tend to favour existing shareholders. These factors rule out EIS investing for me. Pity:-( – Value at Risk Feb 22 '18 at 0:02
  • PS: For anybody reading this who is still interested in EIS eligible investments, in the course of confirming what you said, I came across ... [aimsearch.investorschampion.com/][1] ... offering an EIS assessment service -:) There are also a number of managed EIS investment services available. Since there does not seem to be a more direct option for me, I might have a further think about these. So thanks for framing my problem so well, and advancing my decision processes to that point. [1]: aimsearch.investorschampion.com – Value at Risk Feb 22 '18 at 0:03
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    The link you provided screens for IHT benefits (in other words, Business Relief) on AIM shares, but not EIS relief. Out of curiosity, why are you interested in AIM/EIS? It's quite a small crossover – there is only one (AFAIK) fund that does this, Guinness AIM EIS. If you want EIS relief why not look at private companies? Or if AIM, at VCTs? (similar income tax relief & tax-free dividends, but not IHT relief)? – marktristan Feb 22 '18 at 9:25
  • Okay. Well, the answer is still valid to the question as posed, but I suspect there is some confusion here between AIM IHT benefits and EIS status. Some AIM shares qualify for Business Relief for IHT purposes (as do many private companies) – many of these do not qualify for EIS. However, companies that qualify for EIS also have IHT benefits. If you're looking at IHT mitigation your potential net is wider than if you are looking for EIS-qualifying AIM companies – and another difference is that buying these on the secondary market doesn't affect the IHT aspect. – marktristan Feb 22 '18 at 11:58

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