Community lenders given more time to spend funds from tax relief

Social enterprise bodies are disappointed that their proposals for reform of tax relief in the Budget have been 'watered down'

Social Enterprise UK
Social Enterprise UK

Community lenders will have more time to spend money raised through community investment tax relief from 2013 onwards, it was announced in today’s Budget statement.

The relief allows investors in community development finance institutions, which lend to charities, social enterprises, businesses and individuals in deprived communities, to reclaim up to 25 per cent of their investment over five years.

A joint statement from several social enterprise bodies, including Social Enterprise UK, the umbrella body for social enterprises, the Social Investment Business and Big Issue Invest, said they welcomed the change, but were disappointed that reform of community investment tax relief had been "considerably watered down" from what the sector had asked for.

An NCVO report published in January made a number of other recommendations for community investment tax relief reform – including increasing the amount investors can reclaim – which have not been taken up.

The government has also announced today that it will undertake "an internal review looking into the financial barriers to social enterprise".

The statement from the social enterprise bodies said the review should be independently chaired "to ensure it will bring about real change".

See our round-up of stories on the 2012 Budget

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