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Entrepreneurs’ Relief In A Members Voluntary Liquidation is a way of extracting your money in a tax efficient way that you have successfully built up in a Limited Company.

You may have taken money out of your Limited Company by way of a dividend or salary but if you qualify for Entrepreneurs’ Relief, this will enable you to extract funds and be charged tax at a reduced rate as a Capital Gain, instead of it being treated as income. To do this you may find a Members Voluntary Liquidation a useful tool to enable you to claim this relief.

What Is Entrepreneurs’ Relief Or Business Asset Disposal Relief?

Entrepreneurs’ Relief is now called Business Asset Disposal Relief by virtue of Schedule 3 of the Finance Act 2020, which if you qualify, enables you to pay capital gains tax at the rate of 10%. The normal rate of capital gains tax is 20%, provided the gains do not relate to a residential property in which case the rate is 28%.

If instead money was to be extracted from a limited company as dividends or salary, the tax rate suffered by the individual declared on their personal tax returns could be far higher. Dividends could be taxed at the rate of up to 38.1% and salary can even stretch to a rate of 45% if you meet the relevant threshold, so it is worth taking professional advice to see if you qualify for the appropriate potentially very valuable savings provided by Entrepreneurs’ Relief.

Entrepreneuers’ Relief is subject to a lifetime limit of £1million by virtue of Schedule 3 of the Finance Act 2020.

It has sometimes been referred to as ‘retirement relief’ but you do not need to retire to claim it.

How To Qualify For Entrepreneurs’ Relief

Business Asset Disposal Relief is available if you have been trading for 2 years. If you are claiming the relief in respect of shares in a Limited Company, then the company must be a personal trading company with you either an employee or a director, having more than 5% of the ordinary shares and 5% voting rights. You must also be entitled to at least 5% of either:

  • profits that are available for distribution and assets on winding up the company
  • disposal proceeds if the company is sold

The liquidation of the company must commence within 3 years of the cessation of trading activities.

You need to watch out for the anti-avoidance provisions set out in Section 396B of the Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005. In particular, if you start the same or similar trade within 2 years of the date of the relevant distribution then it would cease to qualify for Entreprenuers’ Relief. This was designed to stamp out the practice of opening and closing companies with the same trade by carried out, whilst claiming the relief.

What Is A Members Voluntary Liquidation?

A Members Voluntary Liquidation is the orderly winding up of a solvent company. This option is not available to an insolvent company, in which case you might wish to consider a Creditors Voluntary Liquidation. If your company is insolvent then you will not be in a position to claim Entrepreneurs’ Relief but you may be able to obtain other tax relief such as Terminal Loss Relief instead.

Upon the company being placed into Members Voluntary Liquidation a distribution can be made by the liquidator and the same is then subject to tax at the rate of 10% as a capital gain to be declared on the personal tax return of the party claiming the Entrepreneurs’ Relief.

When Might A Members Voluntary Liquidation Be Useful?

The circumstances in which a Members Voluntary Liquidation could be useful to you could be as follows:

  • You wish to close down your company and extract your hard earned cash.
  • You have no further need for the limited company and you have ceased trading.
  • The nature of your trading activities have fundamentally changed and all the assets in your limited company are no longer needed.
  • You wish to start a completely new trading venture in a new limited company and wish to extract your capital.
  • You are looking forward to a well earned retirement.

How To Claim Entrepreneurs’ Relief

To claim Entrepreneurs’ Relief, the relief is sought on the personal tax return of the relevant employee or director who has made the capital gain.

How Can We Help You?

If you would like more information on this to see if we can assist you in such matters then please contact us for a Free Initial Consultation.

Disclaimer: This article ‘Entrepreneurs’ Relief In A Members Voluntary Liquidation’ is not legal advice and not to be relied upon as such. It is provided for information purposes only and no liability is accepted for any reliance upon it. You should take independent professional advice on the facts of your case.