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Financing OMBs: loans or shares?

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OMBs can struggle to finance their business. Often the choice is between loans and share capital, although the tax implications of each may have a bearing on their attractiveness for the business and for the investor. Key tax issues on loans are: interest is deductible for corporation tax purposes; shareholders can obtain tax relief for borrowings to lend to the company; and income tax is withheld at source (CT61 required). Key tax issues on share capital are: there is no corporation tax deduction for dividend payments; no withholding tax on dividends; loss relief against income is available in certain cases if the company fails; capital reduction can be carried out at a future date; and capital loss available to the individual if it becomes irrecoverable. The enterprise investment scheme should also be considered as this offers attractive incentives for individuals to invest in a company’s shares.

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