AITC seeks greater tax concessions

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THE Association of Investment Trust Companies wants greater tax concessions for venture capital trusts to compensate investors for the extra risk of investing in unquoted equity.

When Chancellor Kenneth Clarke launched his scheme in last November's Budget, he said investors would receive dividends and capital gains free of tax, putting VCTs on a par with personal equity plans. Trusts investing predominantly in unquoted equity are excluded from PEPs.

In an informal submission to the Inland Revenue, the AITC suggests investors should qualify for rollover relief from capital gainst tax after selling an unquoted business, if they reinvest the proceeds in VCTs. Rollover relief, introduced in last March's Budget, presently applies to reinvestment in individual unquoted companies.

The AITC proposes that the proportion of assets held in unquoted equity should be 70 per cent and that newly launched VCTs should be given three years to achieve that figure.

It also believes investment trust rules stipulating that 85 per cent of income must be distributed via dividends and capital gains should be rolled up in the fund should not apply to VCTs. The rules allow investment trusts relief from capital gains tax.