Thanks to new tax incentives, investing in innovation is now much more attractive and a broader range of investors are likely to get involved.
But it’s important that investors are properly certified to ensure they can claim the incentives come tax time.
As of 1 July, investors who choose to invest in qualifying Early Stage Innovation Companies (ESICs):
It’s important to understand that anyone who invests more than $50,000 in ESICs over a financial year is not eligible to claim the incentives unless they are qualified as a sophisticated investor1.
In other words, investors need to hold a valid investor certificate signed by their accountant, at the time they make the investment.
If you are an entrepreneur seeking capital, it's a good idea to check you qualify as an early stage innovation company, as this opens the door to investors attracted to the tax incentives.
To qualify as an ESIC you need to:
ESICs raising more than $2.5 million or with more than 20 investors in a 12-month period, also need to maintain a registry of investors’ certificates. (This is a standard Corporations Act disclosure requirement which is regulated by ASIC.) By asking investors to share their certificate with you via Cygura, your registry is created and maintained automatically.
Cygura is a central online portal for managing investor certification and provides an arms-length process for ATO reporting and audits.
Standard access is free and allows investors to be certified by their accountant, share their certificate with ESICs (and other investment providers) and claim the tax incentives come tax time.
More information on the tax incentives are available on the ATO website.