HMRC brings uncertainty surrounding entrepreneurs’ relief to an end

A much welcomed amendment to the Finance Bill 2018-19 is being proposed which should bring to an end to the recent uncertainty surrounding entrepreneurs’ relief, triggered by the 2018 Autumn Budget announcements (as covered in our recent blog).

The change comes following lobbying by the ICAEW and CIOT and is set out in this ICAEW blog post.

The proposed 2018 Budget amendments remain, but with an alternative to the new test where an individual’s shareholding in a trading company will qualify for entrepreneurs’ relief where either or both of the following conditions are met:

  1. By virtue of that holding, the individual is beneficially entitled to at least 5% of the profits available for distribution to equity holders and, on a winding up, would be beneficially entitled to at least 5% of assets so available, or
  2. In the event of a disposal of the whole of the ordinary share capital of the company, the individual would be beneficially entitled to at least 5% of the proceeds.

This new second part of the test should remove the uncertainty surrounding shareholders with alphabet shares as it indicates that where a company with alphabet shares is disposed of, then provided the shareholder receives at least 5% of the sale proceeds, they should qualify for entrepreneur’s relief even if they have not had an entitlement to 5% of dividends.

It is hoped that the amended test is adopted into law and provides an end to uncertainty for the vast majority of private company shareholders.

For further advice or a discussion about entrepreneurs’ relief, please contact our tax director, Claire Astley, using the button below.

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Claire Astley
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