In a move to make the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) processes more efficient, HMRC now accept digital tax certificates. They have also introduced the Unique Investment Reference (UIR) and updated the format of both the SEIS and EIS tax certificates.

What happened before?

As you are aware, Seedrs usually takes care of the SEIS or EIS tax process for companies that raise on the platform. In March 2017, we made a revolutionary move to digital tax certificates. This meant when we received physical tax certificates from HMRC, we provided investors with digital tax certificates which could be found in their tax documents page.

These digital tax certificates were not meant to replace the physical tax certificates, but were to be used by the investor to extract the relevant information required. If needed, investors were able to request physical tax certificates, for example, if HMRC requested a copy of the physical tax certificate, or the investor wanted to use the claim form (appended to the physical tax certificate), or if the investor simply wanted the physical tax certificate for their own records.

What has changed?

Things have now changed for the better! There is no longer a requirement for investee companies to provide investors with a wet signature on a physical tax certificate. This is as a result of introducing the Unique Investment Reference (UIR) which will now act as an electronic signature and will be included on the tax certificate.

Now, when HMRC approves an SEIS or EIS tax relief application form, they will provide the company or its agent with the authority to issue a specific number of certificates and allow the company or its agent to decide how best to complete and issue the tax certificates to its investors. From now on, Seedrs will provide digital tax certificates only, you will not need to request physical tax certificates.

What does this mean for me?

We were ahead of the times in launching our digital solution to tax certificates in 2017! Certificates will continue to be issued to investors in the usual way, investors will be notified as soon as a new tax certificate is available to download from their Seedrs tax documents page.

It is worth noting the new tax certificates have a different format and include new fields, such as a signature from a company representative as well as the UIR.

How do I claim SEIS and EIS tax relief?

To claim relief, enter details of your investment in the ‘Additional Information’ section of your self assessment return. You will need the following information from the digital tax certificate:

  • The name of the company invested in
  • The amount on which you are claiming relief
  • The date of issue of shares
  • UIR

For any SEIS or EIS eligible investments for which you have already received certificates in the previous tax certificate format, there is no UIR.

If you need to claim relief using the form attached to the certificate (pages three and four), you can do this by printing the digital tax certificate from your Seedrs tax document page.  If you do not have access to a printer, we are happy to help you with this. Please email us at [email protected] for help with this or for any other queries or feedback.

Please note that if you choose the direct investment option tax certificates will not be generated.