It typically takes around four weeks from the date of submission to hear back from HMRC. They will either accept your application, ask some further questions or reject it outright.
Given that a company can only apply for advance assurance once its important to submit the best application you can and if at all possible to get an experienced professional to assist.
If you produce a good application and provide all the right supporting information then for the more straightforward cases we sometimes see advance assurance being received around two weeks from the date the application is made. However this may have more to do with HMRC happening to experience fewer applications made at the time.
For complex applications a wait of around six weeks should be expected. This is likely where, for example, there are some grey areas around whether your business meets the qualifying criteria, you are making the argument that the seven year EIS basic age condition is not applicable (perhaps because you are entering a new product and/or geographic market) or you are seeking to also qualify as a Knowledge Intensive Company.
The longer wait will usually mean that a senior tax inspector will also need to review the application. When HMRC eventually respond it is not unusual in such cases for them to ask a series of questions which sometimes require detailed answers to be made. Once this further information is submitted we usually have to wait another one to two weeks for HMRC to (fingers crossed) confirm SEIS/EIS advance assurance.
Our team currently advise on, prepare and submit around 50 SEIS and EIS advance assurance applications every year. If you would like further information a good place to start is our top ranking blog post on how to apply for SEIS and EIS advance assurance.
For all new clients we offer a no cost no obligation call of up to 20 minutes to first discuss you matter and requirements before confirming a scope of work and quote. This can be arranged by emailing your details and an overview of your matter to firstname.lastname@example.org