Claiming the Early Stage Tax Offset (ESIC)

Tax incentives this good are difficult to find, so investors should consider the complexities of the claim, including tax structure before proceeding with an ESIC tax offset. Considerations may include:

What Box Do I Tick?

Can a trust claim the early stage investor tax offset?

The technical answer is No, however you mean to ask, 'can the ultimate investor claim the tax offsets?' the answer is most likely to be yes!


The trust structure will not impede individuals who own/control the trust, providing the flow through is not passed via a widely held company or its 100% subsidiary.


A trust structure is a common method for investment in ESIC investments.

The trustee and your tax adviser should consider Early Stage Tax Incentives (ESIC) each time you draw up the trust resolutions regarding distributions to beneficiaries.  If the trustee failed to distribute income or capital gains, and that amount was taxable within the trust, the trustee cannot offset ESIC offsets. 


In most cases those offsets are better used by the ultimate beneficiaries, even where no immediate tax is payable, as the individual can carry for the offset for a subsequent tax year. 

Record Keeping Guide

Can a superannuation fund claim the early stage investor tax offset?

The Australian Tax Office has determined that it is the superannuation fund and not the fund members themselves who are entitled to the tax incentives (the tax offset and the modified CGT treatment).

Can a non-resident claim early stage investor tax offsets?

Early stage investor tax incentives are available to Australian resident and non-resident investors in regards to there Australian Tax Returns. Non-residents should consider any double tax agreements and the flow through of tax obligations in thier own tax jurisdiction. 

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