Having just read through the highlights of the budget I wanted to point out some good news for all us high tech UK businesses.
Three changes in the budget caught my eye:
Improvements to the EIS Scheme - 30% Relief
The Enterprise Investment Scheme is a government scheme designed to encourage private investors to invest is UK limited companies. There are significant tax breaks associated with the scheme, which include income tax relief.
Under the old rules for every £1,000 you invest you could off-set 20% against your income tax bill. Therefore in real terms it only cost you £800. This relief has now been increased to 30% from April, which will makes EIS a more attractive option for private investors.
We have raised £4m using the EIS Scheme, so keeping and improving EIS we see as vital if the UK is going to become a significant source of technology innovation.
R&D Tax Credit Improvements
The government is also improving the terms of the R&D Tax credits. For those that don't know R&D Tax credits allow us to get rebates from the Government for investing in research and development. As a business that invests heavily in developing new technology any improvements in this area have got to be a good thing.
Lastly Entrepreneur's relief has been extended to £10m. This is the second increase under this government from the initial £1m proposed by Labour. At this point we have no plans to use this relief - as we far to busy building the business. But I believe it's important to provide tax incentives to encourage people to take a few risks and build valuable businesses, create employment and wealth.
In all, three good changes I think for UK technology businesses.