Employee Share Scheme Registration Deadlines

If any of your clients have UK taxpayer employees receiving share/stock options, restricted share units or other employee share benefits, the plan or agreement must be registered with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) online preferably before 6th April 2015, and then an online (not paper) tax return must be filed by 6th July 2015. HMRC will not issue reminders or specific notifications to companies asking them to meet the deadlines. There are automatic penalties for late registration and returns.

If you have any questions we at The RM2 Partnership will be delighted to help you and your clients (and deal with the registration and filing) but here are some of the details.

In virtually all cases whereby an employee is issued with securities or options or other share rights, these must be registered with HMRC Online Services, regardless of whether or not there has been a taxable event.

To clarify further, HMRC now require company owners to submit all scheme-related annual return information, including nil returns, by 6th July following the end of the corresponding tax year or face the subsequent penalties:

  • Up to £700 can be imposed for a late return, plus £10 per day if the return remains outstanding after nine months
  • £5,000 for a material inaccuracy in a return which is not immediately addressed

Therefore, it is of vital importance to note employee share schemes, both those giving statutory tax advantages and those without tax advantages, must be registered with HMRC by 6th July 2015. To ensure adequate time is provided for this process to complete and to avoid the aforementioned unwelcome penalties, we at RM2 are recommending our clients undertake online registration by 5th April 2015.

To complete this process, a company must:

  • Register with HMRC Online Services
  • Register each scheme in operation individually
  • Review all existing share agreements with current and former participants to ensure information is correct
  • Submit annual returns (including nil returns) by 6th July

For any further guidance on scheme registration, please contact RM2 directly on 020 8949 5522 or via enquiries@rm2.co.uk.