Labour recommends income tax deductibility for peer-to-peer lending

Funding Circle investors have long been asking us what we have been doing to encourage tax incentives for lenders. For a long time now we have been campaigning for income tax relief on loans and actually for extensions to schemes like EIS to allow lenders to pay NO TAX on lending they do at Funding Circle given the economic benefit created.

On Monday we attended the launch of the Labour small business taskforce report, and now that the report has been issued we are pleased to announce that the Labour party are now recommending that losses incurred in peer-to-peer lending can be off-set against income tax rather than capital gains tax. The full report can be seen here (we have a nice mention on page 26!). This is the first time a major political party has recommended a favourable tax change for peer-to-peer lending. Here’s the relevant extract:

8. Government should give active support and encouragement to emerging alternative finance marketplaces and their participants. This means understanding the particular business models adopted by new providers and the challenges they encounter. For example, the growth of marketplace lenders is being constrained because they must pay interest income tax calculated before lending losses. This makes it unprofitable to lend to riskier businesses. The government should permit marketplace lenders to calculate income tax obligations based on interest net of bad debts, rather than pre-bad-debts.

We can now use this to campaign with the existing Government to adopt these measures. I don’t want investors to get their hopes up, but often when one political party recommends something like this it can be quickly taken up by the current Government if there is enough momentum. This is a good step in the direction of eventually getting complete tax relief for people who lend via peer-to-peer lending.

I know it may seem like these things are very slow, but behind the scenes we are working hard to improve the regulatory and tax environment for our lenders.

Samir, CEO

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Jack Pritchett

Senior Communications Manager