For a SeedFAST, when can my investor get their SEIS - EIS certificates?

Investors can claim tax relief for the year the shares were issued, and the previous tax year - here's how 

When you do a funding round, the investor sends you their money and gets their shares within a few days, so it's clear and unambiguous which date and tax year applies to their SEIS/EIS investment.

But, what happens in the case of an SEIS/EIS investment made via a SeedFAST, or any other Advance Subscription Agreement (ASA), where the investment may only convert into shares months later after the investor sends their funds? Which date and tax year is the investment deemed to have been made?

The date that an investor's SEIS/EIS investment is deemed to have been made is always the day that the shares were issued (it's important that you only issue them their shares after you've received their money, as shares must be fully paid up before being issued. Otherwise, their investment could be deemed to be a loan, and they won't get their SEIS/EIS).

This means that the tax year in which the SEIS/EIS benefit is given is the tax year when the SeedFAST or ASA conversion occurred, not the tax year in which the SeedFAST investment was made.

At this point, you're thinking... oh, that's bad, it means the investor does a SeedFAST with me now, and my investor won't be able to claim SEIS/EIS for this tax year if I convert the SeedFAST in the next tax year, which is going to make them a lot less likely to invest.

While that's true - and they can only file their SEIS/EIS claim in the tax year in which their shares were granted - the good news is that HMRC allows you to backdate the claim to the previous tax year.

So, you can assure your investor that if they make an investment in your company via a SeedFAST today, even if that SeedFAST only converts into shares in the next tax year, they'll be able to retrospectively claim an SEIS/EIS tax deduction then, for this tax year!