Venture Capital Schemes Manual: venture capital schemes: advance assurance requests: role of the Venture Capital Reliefs (VCR) Team for advance assurance applications
The VCR Team considers each advance assurance application and decides whether a company (or social enterprise) and a proposed share or security issue would qualify for tax reliefs.
The VCR Team does not provide an opinion in certain cases, where there is doubt about eligibility.
The VCR Team gives an advance assurance only in respect of the conditions that apply to the company (or social enterprise) and the particular share or security issue. An advance assurance given in respect of one share or security issue should not be regarded as providing assurance in respect of a different share or security issue.
An advance assurance will not be valid if it is found that the company (or social enterprise) has not disclosed all the relevant facts.
The advance assurance service is a non-statutory, discretionary, service and there is no right of appeal against the VCR Team’s decision. The purpose of the service is not simply to agree every application but for HMRC to provide its opinion on whether a proposed investment would be eligible under the specified scheme. HMRC will provide an advance assurance only if it considers the proposed investment will meet the specified scheme rules, and the company and investors abide by the undertakings given in the application.
The VCR Team will not enter into protracted correspondence if it considers that an investment would not be eligible or refuses to provide an opinion because is unable to reach a decision. The VCR Team will look at new information supplied but may decline to enter into further correspondence once a decision is given
If the VCR Team declines to issue an advance assurance an investor may go ahead with the investment and the law may be tested through the statutory procedures.
The VCR Team monitors companies to ensure that the company continues to meet the requirements of the particular scheme for the entire duration of the qualifying period. If a company does not meet all of the requirements during a qualifying period then the tax relief can be withdrawn, or a VCT may be required to dispose of the holding.