At present, investors in renewable energy projects can obtain tax relief under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) if they buy shares in a community energy enterprise, but not in a commercial company undertaking renewable energy projects.
As previously advised, Treasury is now consulting on the possibility of removing this tax concession.
Working with others, we have submitted an excellent response showing that this prospect would be devastating for the sector. We know that DECC is also talking to Treasury about this, in particular because of the adverse effect it would have on the community energy strategy.
The final outcome is likely to be announced at the time of the Chancellor’s autumn statement in early December. We are currently getting conflicting signals about the eventual result.
Any community groups planning to issue EIS-eligible share offers in the near future should consider whether they are now, or soon could be, in a position to apply for advance clearance or make a formal application for EIS relief. If you are at, or close to, either of those points; our advice would be to consult your advisers on whether you should play safe and submit your application as soon as you can.