Value of AIM to the UK economy significantly outweighs cost of modest tax concession
An excellent report from specialist growth company research house, Equity Development, has highlighted the huge benefits AIM brings to the UK economy and how the mild encouragement provided by the Inheritance Tax concession to those considering an IPO onto AIM is a very large multiple of the cost in tax foregone by HMRC. We would urge you to read the report from the link here.
Equity Development considers AIM companies contribute over £33bn Gross Value Added (GVA) directly – over 40% more per employee than the national average – and just as much indirectly to the UK economy since their direct GVA has increased by 35% in the last five years, more than twice as fast as the average. Not only are AIM companies more productive than average, their productivity is growing – at 11% pa, significantly faster than average.
A report by Grant Thornton on AIM’s first 25 years shows that small companies listed on AIM perform ‘better’ – generating more added value, more employment and far greater tax receipts for HMRC – than comparable “private” companies. Grant Thornton found that:
• In their first year on AIM companies on average grew profits by 36%, and by 24% per annum for the next four years.
• Revenues grew 40% p.a. for three years, then 20% p.a. for the next two. Over the last five years AIM companies have outgrown, by a significant amount, the “private” companies in their sectors in nearly every case
AIM’s superior growth has, in just the last five years, added £4.7bn pa to UK economy and more than £1bn per annum to HMRC. But you may ask, at what cost?
The IHT concession is not a precise sum that can be easily calculated, but Equity Development reckons it ‘costs’ the Treasury c. £50m pa.
Like us, Equity Development questions why HMRC would abolish Business Relief (on which the IHT reliefs are based) to gain roughly £50m at a probable future cost to themselves exceeding £1bn per annum. They also suspect that much of the publicity given to suggestions that Business Relief should be abolished comes from promoters of more expensive, less useful IHT-avoidance schemes who are losing customers to simple AIM IHT ISAs. We have experienced on numerous occasions at first hand the added complexity and cost, including outrageous legal fees, imposed on relatively small estates with trust structures in place and would urge investors to think carefully before going down this route.
Not only is AIM of huge benefit to the UK economy but AIM listed companies represent the primary source of growth for UK small cap investors, reflected in the significant outperformance of AIM for IHT managers, including Fundamental, over the past decade or more.