In a period with little good news for community energy, there has been a glimmer of light on the tax front. Although we have lost the EIS and SEIS tax reliefs, we have gained the Government’s new Personal Savings Allowance. This measure, announced at the Budget, means that a certain amount of income from interest in a year will be tax free. For lower-rate taxpayers that will be £1000. That means that you could, for example, have £15,000 in community energy shares with a 6% return and pay no tax on the interest whatsoever. For some people the benefits could even be as good as EIS.
The new Allowance doesn’t just apply to Society shares of course, but it does make it easier for people on normal incomes to support community energy schemes.