Share plan administration: why it’s important
Administration of share plans may sound a little tedious – but ignore it at your peril! Failing to file your information with HMRC correctly or in time can lead to penalties and fines – and in some cases can result in the loss of valuable tax benefits for both your company and your employees.
Some Dos - and one very important DON’T
DO make sure all your existing employee share plan arrangements are registered on HMRC’s new Employment Related Securities online system as soon as possible. The deadline for this is 6th July this year. But we all know what happens when everyone tries to file tax returns online on 31st January… don’t risk a system crash!
No, really DO make sure those plans are registered now. Because you can’t complete your annual return until the registration is complete. The deadline for annual returns is also 6th July.
DO keep a clear record of all option grants/lapses and share awards, including the date of any event. You will need this when you complete your annual return.
DO start the process of registering and notifying EMI option grants as soon as the grants have been made. You must do this within 92 days of the date of grant or the options will not qualify for the tax benefits.
DO remember that Employment Related Securities doesn’t just refer to “employees”. You will need to register share plan arrangements and file a return for officers of the company such as directors – even if they are not, in your view, employees.
DON’T ignore it. The requirement to register share plans and complete annual returns will not go away. HMRC want us to use their online system, even if it does still have some glitches (which are being ironed out). Late filings will be subject to fines, and paper forms will not be accepted under any circumstances (in fact, you are likely to be subject to another fine). If you have a tax advantaged plan and you fail to register it by self-certifying its eligibility, the tax advantages will be lost.
Do you need help?
We currently administer more than 170 share plans for over 120 companies. Our bespoke system, which focuses squarely on our client base of small and medium sized private companies, means we can provide you with complete peace of mind in respect of all administrative matters relating to all and any of your share plans. For more information, contact us on 020 8949 5522.