The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) today announced that it is accepting public feedback on the proposed rules for the expanded Angel Investor Tax Credit Program. Members of the public can read the draft rules and provide written feedback at www.njeda.com/program-specific-feedback.
Originally established in 2013, the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program was expanded under the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (ERA). The rule proposal aligns with changes made to the program pursuant to P.L. 2019 c. 145 and implements changes in the ERA. This includes: an increase to the amount of tax credits available each year, an increase in the amount of tax credits available per qualified investment, the availability of bonus credits for qualified investments in targeted locations or in certified minority or women-owned businesses, and the ability for investors to receive a tax credit for investments made in qualified venture funds.
“Ensuring early-stage companies have access to the financial resources they need to launch and grow is crucial to reestablishing New Jersey as the State of Innovation and achieving Governor Phil Murphy’s vision for a stronger, fairer recovery from COVID-19,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “By incentivizing angel investors to support New Jersey-based companies and providing bonuses for investments in minority- and woman-owned companies, the expanded Angel Investor Tax Credit Program will move us closer to our goal of building the most diverse, inclusive innovation ecosystem in the nation and driving long-term, equitable economic growth.”
The New Jersey Angel Investor Tax Credit Program incentivizes angel investment into emerging New Jersey technology businesses by authorizing the NJEDA to provide tax credits to investors based on percentage of a qualified investment made in a New Jersey business conducting research or engaged in pilot-scale manufacturing or technology commercialization in advanced computing, advanced materials, biotechnology, carbon footprint reduction technology, electronic device technology, information technology, life sciences, medical device technology, mobile communications technology, or renewable energy technology. In addition to being engaged in one of these eligible industries, the business receiving the investment must employ fewer than 225 employees, at least 75 percent of whom work in New Jersey.
In 2019, Governor Phil Murphy expanded the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program to increase the available tax credits on qualified investments and provide bonuses for investments in businesses located in targeted locations or certified minority or women-owned businesses.
Since inception of the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program, the NJEDA has approved more than 1,600 applications from investors representing more than $615 million in total qualified investment into emerging New Jersey technology companies.
The draft rule proposal reflects the 2019 legislative changes to the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program including an increase of the amount of the allowed tax credit from ten percent to twenty percent of an investor’s qualified investment in an emerging New Jersey technology business, as well as a five percent bonus tax credit for qualified investments in businesses located in a qualified Opportunity Zone or New Markets Tax Credit census tract or businesses that are New Jersey certified minority- or woman-owned. The maximum allowed tax credit amount will remain $500,000 for the tax credit vintage year for each qualified investment.
Pursuant to the ERA, the draft rules for the expanded Angel Investor Tax Credit Program also implement the ERA’s expansion of the program. This includes expanding the definition of a qualified investment to include an irrevocable contractual commitment to invest in a qualified venture fund. As defined in the draft rules, a qualified venture fund is a partnership, corporation, trust, or limited liability company that invests cash in a business during the early or expansion stages of a business in exchange for an equity stake in the business. This may include a venture capital fund, a family office fund, or a corporate investor fund; however, the fund must be administered by a professional manager and the qualified investment must be non-refundable and non-transferrable. In addition, the fund must commit to invest at least 50 percent of its committed funds in New Jersey-based businesses. Furthermore, a bonus of 5 percent is available if the fund invests 50 percent of its funds in New Jersey diverse entrepreneurs.
Members of the public can submit written feedback on the draft rules for the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program via www.njeda.com/program-specific-feedback.
In addition to the expanded Angel Investor Tax Credit program, the ERA creates a suite of programs that includes tax credits to incentivize job creation, new construction, and revitalization of brownfields and historic properties; financial resources for small businesses; support for new supermarkets and healthy food retailers in food desert communities; new funding opportunities for early-stage companies in New Jersey; and support for the growing film and digital media industry. More information about these programs is available at https://njeda.com/economicrecoveryact.