In an unparalleled act of incompetence, HMRC announced in their Employment – related securities bulletin No27 April 2018, That State Aid funding for projects set up after 6 April 2018 may not be forthcoming.
To be clear, at present, this means that new EMI schemes set up after 6 April 2018 will not qualify for the usual tax reliefs.
This will more than annoy practitioners who may have been working with clients for some time to set up new qualifying schemes after this date. It is rather like walking a plank between two ships and find yourself in deep water when the gangway is summarily removed.
Why the short notice. Surely the Treasury must have been aware of the delay months ago?
In their belated announcement, HMRC have said, somewhat tongue in cheek, that they cannot guarantee tax relief for schemes set up from 7 April 2018, and that companies may be advised to delay implementation until State Aid permission is forthcoming.
It is speculated the requests from the UK to the EU are heading to the end of the queue, after all, we have requested to leave. How many other State Aid requests will fall by the wayside this coming year?
No doubt practitioners will now be taking this possibility into account when planning tax strategies for clients.
Depending which side of the Brexit divide you fall, you will either see this as more evidence of EU intransigence or evidence that Brexit may not be as easy a process as promised.