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Ann Arbor Spark

August 6, 2010

Angel Tax Credits better than a Capital Gains Tax Cut

There are some politicians who actually get it.  I’m not talking about a certain gubenatorial candidate.  I’m referring to some state and federal legislators.  Here’s the latest example.

Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen has joined Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN), Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), and Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) in introducing the Innovative Technologies Investment Incentive Act of 2010 (H.R. 5767).  The proposal is for the federal government to give angel investors a 25% tax credit for investments made in start-ups that receive SBIR grants.  How cool is that?  This would help achieve the ultimate SBIR purpose which is to get the R&D it funds into the private sector for commercialization, which is where that piece belongs and provides the greatest chance for success.  It also gets private capital onto Main Street, not Wall Street.  What an incentive for the individual.  It’s a better return than Goldman Sachs can give them, a 25% immediate gain.  Yes you still have 75% at risk but how is that stock purchase pre- 2009 of BP, Microsoft, Citigroup or GE working for you?   And it beats a 15, 20 or 25% capital gains tax.  It beats a 0% capital gains tax (like that will ever happen).

More good news.  Michigan is on the heals of approving a 25% angel tax credit too, joining three other great lakes states (Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin) in providing such an incentive for angel investors.  Stay tuned for that.  I’ll let you know when it happens and an interesting opportunity SPARK will be offering.