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HMRC in talks with Oxford Tech over VCT re-approval

Oxford Technology 3 VCT and Oxford Technology 1 VCT had their approvals removed after breaching rules for holding more than 15 per cent of their funds in one firm

Oxford Technology has begun the appeals process with HM Revenue & Customs as it looks to have venture capital trust status reinstated for two trusts.

Money Marketing’s sister title Fundweb revealed in March both the Oxford Technology 3 VCT and the Oxford Technology VCT had their approvals removed after breaching rules for holding more than 15 per cent of their funds in one firm.

This was the first time a VCT had ever had its approval withdrawn. Oxford Technologies has started discussions with HMRC after a formal appeal was filed on 26 March.

A statement in the VCT’s annual accounts says: “HMRC helpfully offered to meet to discuss the appeals process and any request for re-approval with Oxford Technology
directly.

“At this meeting it was agreed that certain detailed arguments in support of the VCTs’ appeal would be submitted in writing to HMRC, who will consider them as urgently as possible. 

“If resolution cannot be reached via agreement, the further avenues of review and appeal will thereafter be explored. If it is necessary to pursue the appeal process to the first-tier tribunal, the likely timescale for such a hearing is in the region of 9 to 14 months from the lodging of the appeal with the tribunal.”

The VCTs breached HMRC rules after the OT3VCT and OTVCT invested £400,000 and £491,000 respectively in start-up company Scancell by August 2013.

However a calculation error caused a breach of the 15 per cent rule.

According to FE data, the OT3VCT trust had assets of £4.4m as of February while the OTVCT held £4.1m.

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