The taxman’s interpretation of the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) rules is to be challenged after an investor won the right to force HMRC to reconsider denying tax relief on the EIS investment he made.

The dispute centres on an investment made by Robert Ames back in 2005, when he invested £50,000 in shares in a start-up indoor skydiving company of which he was also one of the founding directors.

Mr Ames said he had obtained confirmation from HMRC that the shares were eligible for income tax relief under EIS rules at the time of investing. He also said he had been advised by HMRC in a recorded phone call that he would be exempt from capital gains tax (CGT) when he sold the shares.

The shares were sold for more than £300,000 in June 2011. But when the time came to claim the tax relief, the taxman said he was not eligible for the relief because he had not claimed income tax relief when he first made the investment.

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