Back in December, we reported on some of the proposed changes to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) recommended by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS).
To summarise, the key proposals of interest to the UK’s entrepreneurs and startup employees were:
- To tax the earnings they make when selling company shares at income rates of up to 45%, rather than the current rate of 20%; and
- To remove the remnants of Business Asset Disposal Relief (formerly Entrepreneurs’ Relief), which allows entrepreneurs to be taxed at 10% on the first £1m of proceeds from share sales in their lifetime.
These lower rates of tax reward founders and startup employees (who have a stake in the company through an options scheme, for example) for the risks they have taken to build a business, and any financial losses they have incurred as a result.
They also help encourage founders to reinvest in their business and, post-exit, in the wider ecosystem by increasing their capacity to back other ventures as an angel investor.
We therefore strongly believe that the implementation of the changes proposed by OTS would have a profoundly adverse impact on the UK’s startup ecosystem.
And we’re not alone in that belief. We have been overwhelmed by the responses we have received to our initial article, both directly and indirectly via social media channels—it’s clear that it struck a chord with people in all areas of the ecosystem. You can see a rundown of those industry responses here.
Now, we’re advancing our conversations (including with the Treasury) and are working to put some robust data together on this matter. It seems that it’s an area where none currently exists, and as such we’re calling upon all founders, investors and advisors to ambitious UK companies to participate in our survey.
The results of this survey will be published to better inform the debate around the potential economic impact of these changes.
The impending changes to CGT could represent one of the most significant policy changes to impact the UK’s entrepreneurial ecosystem in recent years. This is your chance to have your say about it, contribute to the debate, and influence its future.
The survey is predominantly multiple-choice and can be completely anonymous. We encourage you to fill it out and share with your networks, to make sure that we have as complete a picture on the matter as possible.
Co-founder and CEO
Head of Research and Consultancy