Some European countries offer tax incentive schemes to investors and companies in crowdfunding. On one hand, they could be seen as a tool to reduce the system’s dependence on banks and increase the availability of credit for start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). On the other hand, there is the counterweight of disadvantages that investors may face by investing in crowdfunding (i.e. complex and incomplete laws, and weak protection). This paper is primarily intended as a primer on the use of tax incentives for crowdfunding in Europe. In this study, we first examine the implementation of tax incentive schemes in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, and Belgium. Then, we analyse and compare the characteristics of such schemes along three dimensions: the incentives structure; the business characteristics; and the type of investor. We find that tax incentive schemes for crowdfunding vary widely in their form and other features of their design. Moreover, the most used forms of tax incentives are those that provide for an up-front tax credit on the amount invested in early-stage ventures. These incentives have an immediate effect on the annual income tax of the investor. A central implication is that the more tax incentive schemes are properly designed and tailored for crowdfunders, the more investors, start-ups and other firms with low liquidity could use crowdfunding as a source of funding.
- Crowdfunding investment
- Entrepreneurial finance
- European countries
- Government Policy and Regulation
- Tax incentives