02.02.2017

Tax shelter start-ups are now also applicable to investments via crowdfunding platforms

Minister of Digital Agenda, Alexander De Croo, is satisfied with the new legal framework for crowdfunding platforms. This law, which takes effect on 1 February, expands the tax shelter for start-ups to investments via crowdfunding platforms. “A good thing for beginning entrepreneurs and investors,” according to Minister of Digital Agenda, Alexander De Croo.

In 2015, Alexander De Croo launched the tax shelter for start-ups that provides a tax benefit for people who invest in start-ups. The tax reduction can be an amount up to 30 percent of the invested amount, or even up to 45 percent if it regards a micro-enterprise.

In order to be able to take advantage of the full tax benefit, the investor must hold onto the investment (shares) at least four years. From now on, investments via approved crowdfunding platforms will also be considered for the tax benefit.

The new legal framework specifies the conditions that must be satisfied in order for a crowdfunding platform to be approved. The conditions and procedure are located on the website of the FSMA (Authority for Financial Services and Markets), which is responsible for the approval. Only investments via approved crowdfunding platforms are considered for the tax benefit.

Capital rounds up to 300,000 Euros whereby an individual investor can subscribe to a maximum of 5,000 Euros (previously 1,000 Euros) are exempt from the prospectus obligation.

In addition to the tax shelter benefits, the new legal framework for crowdfunding platforms also entails benefits for crowdlending. Specifically, the provision of loans via a crowdfunding platform will be supported fiscally via a withholding tax exemption on the interest of the loans.

The following terms are applicable with regard to the loans:

  • Interest from loans: no withholding tax is due on the interest from loans up to the first bracket of 15,000 Euros;
  • The loans that are considered for this exemption must have a minimum maturity of four years;
  • The withholding tax exemption is only applicable insofar as the relevant loans have been provided to start-up companies.

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