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“Have you registered your share schemes?”

Have you registered your share schemes?

If there have been any “reportable events” in relation to employment-related securities, including any form of unapproved share scheme, in the current tax year (2014/15), you must register the scheme with HMRC, and then report each event in an online annual return, before 6 July 2015.

HMRC will not be sending out reminders! If you fail to file a return you will be fined, so it is important to send in your annual return before the deadline.

What is the procedure?

HMRC has now moved to online filing for all share schemes. This means that in order to file your annual return, you must first:

1. Make sure you have access to HMRC’s PAYE Online Services; and

2. Register your scheme online.

It may take up to a week to register for access to HMRC’s online service, and up to five days for HMRC to process the registration of a scheme so you can report awards.

It is our understanding that HMRC’s system will only allow you to register an unapproved arrangement or share scheme before 6 April 2015 if a reportable event has occurred in 2014/15.

If you have established or are aware of any unapproved or non-qualifying arrangement or scheme relating to employment-related securities (including any plan for the grant of EMI share options), but there has been no “reportable event” in 2014/15, there is no immediate obligation to register the arrangement or scheme. If you choose to do so in a tax year in which there has been no reportable event, you will then be obliged to make a nil return online for that year.

It is normally the responsibility of either the employer or the person from whom the securities are acquired to report events in an online return. Events only need to be reported in an annual return by one person.

What is a “reportable event”?

Reportable events include:

– Acquisition of shares, or interests in shares, by an employee

– Grant of options to an employee

– Exercise of share options by an employee

– Receipt of a benefit in money or money’s worth in relation to an employee share option

– Assignment or release for consideration of an employee share option

– The falling away of restrictions attaching to shares held by an employee

– The disposal for consideration of restricted securities by an employee

– Other events which give rise to a tax charge in relation to employment-related securities

This is not an all-inclusive list and you should take advice if you are not certain whether an event is reportable.

Tax-advantaged share schemes

Events which take place in relation to a qualifying SIP, CSOP or SAYE scheme should also be reported online to HMRC. However, each of these schemes has its own form of online annual return which should be filed separated.

Each scheme will also need to be registered with HMRC beforehand using HMRC’s PAYE Online Services – this includes schemes which have already been made known to HMRC through paper filings in previous years! – so you should make sure this is carried out well before the deadline.