In brief: In April 2018, HMRC announced that EU approval for Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) tax reliefs had been delayed, creating doubt and uncertainty for companies wanting to grant EMI options. On 15 May 2018, the EU confirmed their approval for EMI, so EMI’s status...

In brief: a temporary breach of EU law by the UK government could (in theory) negate the attractive tax reliefs for EMI schemes. In practice, this concern only arises for EMI schemes breaching generous financial thresholds, and the average EMI scheme will not be affected. What’s...

A recent case emphasises the importance of being clear about employment status in relation to share ownership. Here, the failure for the appellant to demonstrate that he was an employee resulted in a significant loss of tax relief on the sale of shares. ...

We’ve published a helpful checklist to set out some key steps to getting your share plan right. Step 1 - It's all about planning (see our previous blog "Your share plan - get the first step right"). Step 2 - Working how much to give away under...

There’s been plenty of noise in the last week or so about the fact that EU state aid permission relating to Enterprise Management Incentive ("EMI") options has not been renewed.If you assume the worst, this means that any EMI options granted after 11.00pm on Friday...

The High Court recently ruled in favour of two former employees of Lloyd Bank plc, finding that shares that they were awarded under a share plan had been wrongfully withheld. This happened when the board attempted to change the vesting conditions for share awards retrospectively by...

Author: Nigel Mason Performance targets are a common feature of share option awards, granted under plans such as the Enterprise Management Incentive Plan (EMI) but are they really necessary? That might be a controversial question, especially for companies in sectors with a strong culture of performance...

As we approach the end of the tax year, our Operations Team starts to think about the share plan annual returns that we will prepare and submit for our clients. Since April 2014 HMRC has required all reportable share schemes to be registered online under Employment...

The Court of Appeal has recently overturned a decision by the Employment Appeal Tribunal on age discrimination regarding an employee share plan. The new decision highlights that it may be appropriate for employers to discriminate based on age, but only in certain circumstances. Some share...

Companies wishing to grant Enterprise Management Incentive (“EMI”) options must meet certain requirements. One of these is that all of an EMI company’s subsidiary companies must be “qualifying subsidiaries”. This usually means that the EMI company must hold more than 50% of the share capital...

Dealing with share plan returns sounds pretty unexciting – until you get a penalty for not doing it properly. We recently did a review of companies that took some or all of their plan administration in house or to a non-specialist on cost grounds: 92.5% of...

At the RM2 Partnership, we noticed that, as part of the recent Spring Statement, the government has decided (under the guise of a consultation process) to consider certain proposals that are likely to result in the introduction of legislation in Finance Bill 2018-2019. These proposals,...

The Chancellor recently answered an online question, regarding the tax ad, which represents the employee ownership industry, found that employees found the five-year holding period for the Share Incentive Plan (SIP) to be too long before being able to sell shares tax free and it...

Do you know that you should register your share plan with HRMC’s Employment Related Securities Service (“ERS”)? Do you know that an annual return is due by 6th July each year for each type of plan you operate e.g. Enterprise Management Incentive Plan (“EMI”), Share...

Fallings out between founders is sadly quite common among start-ups. What is just as frustrating is where there is no prior agreement on how to break the deadlock and move on – often with the result that continuing founders have to buy out other founders...