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Angel Tax Funds Used Up for '11; State Accepting Apps for '12

All of the nearly $16 million in angel tax credits available this year was used up as of last week; but the state has another $12 million in credits to distribute in 2012 and has begun accepting applications from investors and businesses wanting to participate in the program.

Minnesota's Angel Tax Credit Program is tapped out for the year and has begun accepting applications from investors and businesses wanting to participate in 2012, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) said Friday.

The state agency will have $12 million in angel tax credits to distribute to qualified investors next year. The 2011 credits ran out last week-which wasn't entirely surprising. In July, program coordinator Jeff Nelson said the state was on track to use up all of the nearly $16 million available this year.

Under the program, investors and investment funds can receive a credit of up to 25 percent on investments of at least $10,000 that are made in emerging companies that specialize in high technology.

The start-ups receiving the investment must be less than 10 years old, have fewer than 25 employees, and have less than $2 million in previous equity investments. The businesses also must be headquartered in Minnesota and have at least 51 percent of their workers and their full payroll based within the state. Companies and their investors both must receive certification from the state in order for the investors to get the credit.

The tax credit program was signed into law on April 1, 2010, but didn't kick off until last July. Since then, the program has made nearly $23 million in tax credits available to investors and attracted about $92 million in investments for high-tech start-ups in the state. As of early November, 175 businesses, 544 investors, and 19 investment funds had been certified through the program since its inception.

"The Angel Tax Credit Program has been a huge success since it was launched in mid-2010," DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips said in a statement. "This program is making investment funding available to promising start-ups that often struggle to attract capital in their early stages of development."

Although the program is popular now, it had somewhat of a slow start: Investors only collected $7 million in credits from the state last year-less than the $11 million that was available. Consequently, $4 million rolled over to 2011, boosting the total available to nearly $16 million this year. The state will fund $12 million in credits annually through 2014, and credits cannot exceed $125,000 per person per year.

The credit spurred $28 million in funding for 67 Minnesota companies in 2010-and those 67 companies collectively created 47 jobs last year, according to a report that the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development submitted to the Minnesota Legislature earlier this year.

For more information, or to start the application process for 2012, click here.

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