VCT investment more than doubles in a year
This is over 2.3 times the amount raised last year, according to analysis from Wealth Club. See YourMoney.com’s VCT and EIS guide for more information on the tax efficient ways to invest in start-ups.
Wealth Club said the rise could be attributed to three factors: there were fears that VCT tax relief may be hit in the last Budget. This brought forward fund raising as investors raced to get in under the old rules. As it was, the Chancellor only tweaked the rules, aiming to ensure that tax shelters were only available for genuinely risky investments.
Other factors included pent-up demand. Many high profile VCTs didn’t raise funds in the previous year because of VCT rule changes. Groups have now adjusted, hiring additional expertise in some cases and are ready to start fund raising again.
Changing pension rules also contributed. Higher earners have seen the annual amount they can put into a pension reduced by £1 for every £2 of income over £150,000 due to the tapered annual allowance rules. For those earning over £210,000, their annual pension allowance is just £10,000. As such, they increasingly need an alternative to pension savings and VCTs have filled the gap.
Alex Davies, CEO and founder of Wealth Club, said: “VCTs are attracting investment quickly and at record levels as higher-earners, who can no longer invest large sums in pensions, are seeking out a tax-efficient alternative. The biggest raiser to date is Octopus Titan that has raised £125m followed by Mobeus which has raised £72.8m. Meanwhile Northern VCTs, Barsonsmead, Octopus AIM, Unicorn AIM and Proven have already reached capacity and closed.
Davies cautioned that VCTs were filling up fast and interested investors should commit now rather than leaving it until the end of the tax year when it may not be available. Wealth Club recommends Mobeus VCTs, Maven Income and Growth VCTs and Octopus Titan.