HMRC-Approved Share Schemes

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COVID-19: Yet More Relief, and More Certainty, for EMI Option Holders

On Tuesday, 21 July 2020, the Government announced further good news for companies operating enterprise management incentive (EMI) share option schemes that will allow them to continue to grant new options to individuals who: have been furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), or have taken unpaid leave, or have had their working hours … Continue Reading

COVID-19: A New Relief for EMI Option Holders

Late on Friday, 26 June 2020, with little fanfare, the Chancellor of the Exchequer tabled a new clause for inclusion in the Finance Bill 2020 (FB 2020) during its Report stage in the House of Commons. It addresses a key concern around furloughed employees who hold enterprise management incentive (EMI) options (as discussed previously on … Continue Reading

COVID-19: UK Employee Share Schemes

Employee retention is a high priority for businesses grappling with the profound impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Employee share schemes remain a versatile and valuable way to retain important employees. However, many may not have considered the unexpectedly adverse tax consequences that some of the UK government’s business support measures (including, for example, … Continue Reading

EMI options – the wait is over!

Since 6 April 2018 companies have been unable to grant new EMI options, because the existing EU state aid approval expired without fresh approval having been received. So there has been much excitement today at the news that the EU Commission has now given state aid approval, and companies can now grant new EMI options. … Continue Reading

EMI option hiccup

The vagaries of EU State Aid approvals probably pass most of us by.  However, they have come centre stage for many SMEs with HMRC’s announcement that it is not expected that an extension to the UK’s existing State Aid approval for EMI options will be granted before 6th April, when the current approval expires. HMRC … Continue Reading

Holiday plans delayed! – but only for SAYE payment holidays…

Participants in Save as Your Earn (SAYE) schemes are currently able to take a “payment holiday” of up to six months. This helps participants keep their SAYE options by allowing them to take a break from making monthly payments, for example while they are on maternity leave. In the Autumn Budget the government announced the … Continue Reading

The “Brexited” share incentive plan: yet another unknown

Although we’re not in the business of crystal ball-gazing, here are some possible issues relating to Brexit and executive pay, particularly share-based remuneration, that we’d like to throw into the pot (unless that’s too much of a mixed metaphor). It seems unlikely that post-Brexit the UK would impose restrictions on overseas issuers offering their shares … Continue Reading

Filing deadline for UK share plans is fast approaching!

Just a quick reminder that the deadline for making annual returns for UK share schemes relating to the 2015/2016 tax year is 6 July 2016.  For tax-advantaged share schemes: share incentive plans (otherwise known as SIPs); company share option plans (CSOPs); savings-related share option schemes (SAYE/Sharesave); and Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI), if a new scheme … Continue Reading

Hurry – only a few days left for UK share plan annual returns!

The 6 July deadline for companies to register their share incentive plans with HMRC online (and self-certify their tax advantaged plans) is fast approaching.  By this date companies must also make an end-of-year return for each plan, including any non-tax-advantaged (“unapproved”) arrangements where there have been “reportable events” – see our previous blog posts on … Continue Reading

The best laid plans …. Problems with registering share schemes with HMRC online

Following on from our earlier blog post predicting that companies might have issues when using the new online service for registering employee share plans with HMRC, it appears that problems are indeed emerging. Despite the looming deadline of 6 July, we hear anecdotal reports that so far only about 25% of plans have been registered.  In … Continue Reading

Happy new (UK tax) year! – action required for all share incentive plans

In several posts last year, we charted the development of the new HMRC rules for the online registering, self-certifying and making of annual returns for share plans, and indeed all arrangements under which employees receive shares. Now the dust has settled, the teething troubles have been ironed out and the templates for the new “end-of-year” returns … Continue Reading

Get set, go! Online forms for registering and reporting UK share plans

HMRC has recently released template forms and guidance notes for making online annual returns for employee share plans, plus a form for notifying the grant of Enterprise Management Incentive options online (the former paper form EMI1).  There are dire warnings that the templates must not be tinkered with in any way, otherwise they will be … Continue Reading

What value EMI options?

The best advice to an unquoted company granting EMI options has always been to agree the value of a share with HMRC shortly before grant.  This gives certainty: the company will know that it isn’t breaching the £3 million limit on the value of EMI options it can grant; the option holder can be comfortable knowing that all … Continue Reading

DIY and get it right! The further perils of registering share plans with HMRC

As trailed in our previous post, HMRC has just published the FAQs about its new online service for share plans. It’s clear that it’s very much do-it-yourself.  If you want confirmation that your registration of a share plan or notification of an EMI option grant was successful, make sure you print and save a copy of … Continue Reading

Teething problems with HMRC’s online share scheme service: what to do if you have been affected

The latest issue of HMRC’s Employment-Related Securities Bulletin acknowledges the problems that some companies have been having with online notification and reporting, as mentioned in our earlier post. The bulletin sets out what companies should do about two particular issues:  not being able to file notifications of grants of EMI options online by the 92-day … Continue Reading

The brave new world of “simplified” employee share plans

The parts of the UK Finance Bill relating to share plans came into force yesterday, finally implementing many of the recommendations of the Office of Tax Simplification in this area. The main thrust of the new regime is online registration and self-certification of plans and filing of annual returns, of which more details are given in … Continue Reading

Self-certification of UK tax-advantaged share plans: HMRC muddies the waters

With the 6 April start date for the new self-certification regime for HMRC-approved share plans fast approaching, HMRC have published some helpful amendments to the proposed legislation but have also published new provisions that require further clarification.  Questions remain on how both existing and new plans will be affected.  For more details, read our alert.… Continue Reading

Well, I declare! Self-certification of UK tax-advantaged share plans

If your company operates one of the UK tax-advantaged share plans, you will probably already have heard that new “self-certification” rules are being introduced from 6 April this year, as we reported in our post when the draft Finance Bill was published in December. HMRC have still to announce their final word on the changes, … Continue Reading

UK Finance Bill 2014: practical points for share schemes

The draft Finance Bill for 2014 was published yesterday.  Of the 673 pages of draft legislation and explanatory notes, more than 120 pages dealt with employee shares schemes, employee ownership and related issues.  To prove that tax doesn’t have to be taxing, we have done the hard work for you and distilled down your “need-to-knows”.… Continue Reading

A small early present from Uncle George – share schemes aspects of the UK Autumn Statement

There wasn’t a great deal in the Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement to do with employee share schemes that we hadn’t heard about already. However, there was one unexpected gift – an increase in the limits on the contributions that can be made to SAYE (Sharesave) schemes and share incentive plans (SIPs).  That said, for … Continue Reading

UK Revenue-approved plans and retirement: new guidance

The long-delayed HMRC guidance on the meaning of retirement for the purposes of Revenue-approved share incentive plans has just been published. This is a change from the previous position, where plan rules had to contain a “specified age”, leaving at or after which would be retirement. The new guidance is short, but not particularly sweet.… Continue Reading

Easier share buy-backs: towards a John Lewis economy

As part of deputy prime minister Nick Clegg’s “John Lewis economy” project, last autumn the UK Government consulted on changes to the share buy-back legislation to enable companies more easily to increase employee ownership. View the BIS report on these changes. As a result, regulations have now come into force that will amend the Companies … Continue Reading