The deadline for submitting the annual returns for employee share schemes is 6 July 2018. Almost every year there is some sort of technical problem with the ERS online service, which must be used to submit the annual returns, but this year we haven’t seen any problems reported – yet.
Before the annual return can be submitted, the scheme must be registered with HMRC. For schemes which commenced in 2017/18 the registration must be in place by 6 July 2018. Only the employer can register the share scheme as this must be done through the employer’s PAYE for employers account. We can’t use our agent’s access to the PAYE reporting system to register the scheme. Once the scheme is registered we can submit the annual return on behalf of our client.
According to the latest employment related security bulletin (May 2018), it will not be possible to make a late registration after 6 July 2018 for any of these types of share scheme: CSOP, SIP and SAYE. If the new share scheme is not registered by 6 July 2018 the tax advantages of those schemes fall away. However, the ERS bulletin for September 2017 says that employers can contact the HMRC Employee Shares and Securities Unit confirming they are registering a tax advantaged scheme late and provide the scheme registration date.
New EMI share schemes do not have to be registered by 6 July, as there is a separate requirement for the company notify HMRC within 92 days of the first EMI option being granted. However, an annual return is needed for every EMI scheme, and as for other tax advantaged share schemes. If nothing has happened during the year, a nil return must be submitted.
In our newsletter on 12 April 2018 we warned you about the end of EU state aid approval for EMI share schemes with effect from 7 April 2018. This problem has now been resolved as the European Commission has agreed to prolong the EU state aid approval for the EMI scheme. Any EMI options granted on or after 7 April 2018 should qualify for tax relief as the original state aid approval is deemed to continue without a break.
Written by the Tax Advice Network