European Commission Report on Effectiveness of Tax Incentives for Venture Capital and Business Angels

The Capital Markets Union project (CMU) aims to strengthen the single market by deepening the integration of investment across the European Union. Improved access to finance is a key component of this project, in particular for start-ups, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and young companies with innovative growth plans. Historically, European SMEs have been primarily dependent on bank finance. In the wake of the financial crisis, this source of funding has been restricted by refinancing capacity, risk appetite and capital adequacy of the banking sector. This has forced young, growing and innovative businesses to seek finance from different sources, such as venture capital and business angels. This study investigates the part that tax incentives for venture capital and business angels can play in fostering investment, with the intention of promoting the diffusion of best practice across Member States. In doing so, this study recognises that tax incentives form part of a broader set of policy tools and that it is important to consider the broader policy mix when analysing tax incentives.