Act now to save social investment tax relief

Social investment tax relief (SITR) expires this April unless Government agrees to extend it in the 3 March 2021 budget. 

Find out how you can help to save the scheme that helps unlock much-needed capital for social enterprises and charities.

4 February 2021


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Image: The HISBE bond was eligible for SITR and it helped unlock much-needed capital for its expansion

Social investment tax relief (SITR) was launched in April 2014 to help social enterprises, charities and community benefit companies to raise the investment they need to grow. It provides investors with 30% tax relief on the amount they invest. The BS3 Community bond we promoted in 2017 and the bond for sustainable supermarket HiSBE were both eligible for SITR, which should provide an added boost to investors.

Due to a sunset clause in the legislation, SITR will expire in April 2021 unless action is taken now. Rishi Sunak MP will announce a decision on SITR’s future in the next budget on 3 March 2021. To date we have seen £14.5 million raised through SITR however we know that SITR has the potential to do much more. Government, working together with social enterprises, social investors, and financial intermediaries, has the opportunity to give the public a tangible way that they can help the country to build back better through the use of Social Investment Tax Relief and support vital community anchors.

Write to your MP

Write to your MP to ask for their help to protect this vital support for social enterprises.

Your MP's email address can be found here, and there's some suggested wording below, which you may wish to use in your email.  

Spread the word on social media Use your social media and the #SAVESITR and tag in @RishiSunak @Jesse_Norman and your MP find their Twitter Tag here.  

With thanks to Big Society Capital and their ‘Get SITR’ initiative for providing these helpful templates and coordinating this call to action.

Example email

Dear [INSERT MP NAME],

I hope you and your family, and your team, are safe and well. 

I am writing to ask for your help to protect a vital support for social enterprises and charities, working hard to improve people’s lives in our constituency and across the country. This support is particularly urgent now as they could play an important role in our country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic if we can secure the investment. 

The support I want to preserve is a vital tax relief which encourages investment into eligible social enterprises and charities called Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR). It is the only tax break for investors into the social enterprise field and is the equivalent of the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) for SMEs. SITR has enabled me to invest and support into ... [INSERT specific investment/organisation info].
 

Unfortunately, due to a sunset clause in the legislation, SITR will be retired by April 2021 unless action is taken now to extend it. The Chancellor will be announcing a decision on SITR’s future in the next budget on 3 March 2021. I wanted to ask you to press the Chancellor and Financial Secretary to the Treasury on the importance of protecting SITR and continuing his dialogue with social investors on how to make the tax relief work best for organisations like us.
 

If SITR is not extended the result will be that very soon millions of pounds of investment capital will be handed back to individuals who wanted to invest their money into organisations like ours that support the most vulnerable in society. We welcome any review of tax reliefs, but to remove the one that benefits the poorest and most vulnerable without any replacement would be damaging, both directly and through its message that “the social sector doesn’t matter” at a time when social enterprises and charities are on the frontline, with staff and volunteers risking their own lives to help others. 

Can I rely on your support with this? Please let me know if I can send you more information about how you can help.

Yours sincerely,
[INSERT YOUR NAME]