Start Up Fund For Entrepreneurs
The Seed Capital Scheme is aimed at encouraging those who previously were in PAYE employment to start their own business. In simple terms, it provides a refund of previous income tax paid for entrepreneurs who invest in a new company.
In Budget 2015, the Minister for Finance announced as part of the Budget his intention to re-launch the scheme in the coming months in order to increase the usage of this funding mechanism for SMEs.
The tax expenditure on the Seed Capital Scheme in 2013, the latest year available, was €1.1 million. There were 57 investors and 51 companies associated with these investments.
The relaunched SURE scheme has the potential to become a more important source of finance for new businesses who often find it difficult to source seed capital.
As noted in the Action Plan for Jobs 2015, the purpose of this rebranding is to more accurately communicate the intended purpose of the relief and it will be followed by a coordinated marketing campaign.
Revising and raising awareness of SURE is under action 208 in the latest plan. Officials from the Dept. of Finance, Dept. of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Enterprise Ireland and the Revenue Commissioners progressed this initiative. The Small Business Advisory Group and a number of Local Enterprise Office manager also assisted by reviewing draft material.
The formal name of the new relief is the ‘Startup Refunds for Entrepreneurs’ scheme or SURE scheme. It will be easier for potential enterpreneurs to assess whether this scheme is relevant to them – in effect, ‘it will do what it says on the tin’.
Revenue’s explanatory leaflet for the scheme (IT 15) has been reviewed and edited. Every effort has been made to simplify the communications of the scheme. The new guide can be found on www.revenue.ie.
A one page lealet has been developed which briefly outlines the scheme and provides examples of the potential benefits. It also sets out the key terms and conditions and where potential entrepreneurs can go for additional information. The leaflet will be available in LEO offices, Revenue Commissioner offices and other locations where citizens/ potential entrepreneurs interact with the State (e.g. DSP offices, Citizen Information Offices, Employment Services Offices, Education and Training Boards, Community Enterprise Offices, etc.) It is also being circulated to industry grouping nationally (IBEC, chamber of commerce offices around the country, SFA, ISME, accountancy bodies)
A refund calculator has been developed which can be found at www.sure.gov.ie. Given the nature of the scheme, it can be challenging for a would-be entrepreneur to estimate the potential value of this relief to them. A simple online calculator will allow anyone, with the input of minimal data (mostly available on their P60 form), to estimate what refund they might receive should they meet the terms and conditions of the scheme. It will allow the potential entrepreneurs to create a printout outlining their potential refund, amount investment and other tax details and an overview of the calculations made. We will be encouraging other organisations (e.g. Enterprise Ireland, LEOs, Revenue Commissioners, relevant Government department websites, IBEC, ISME, Chambers Ireland, etc.) to place links to the calculator on their sites. The online calculator is also linked to the ‘Supporting SMEs Online Tool’.
A radio advertisement has been produced which will support awareness of SURE.
Brochure available to download here.