Share plan returns – last orders!

Companies with employee share plans in place have until Tuesday 6 July to file their annual returns with HM Revenue & Customs on their Employment Related Securities portal.

If you have granted options to your employees, or given them shares, or let them buy shares – you need to fill in an annual return. 

It doesn’t matter if you’ve not used a formal tax advantaged share plan (eg Enterprise Management Incentives, a Company Share Option Plan, or a  Share Incentive Plan) – HMRC want to know about any shares or options that you’ve awarded to your employees, however you’ve done it. 

It also doesn’t matter if absolutely nothing has happened to your share plan in the tax year ending 5 April 2023 – HMRC want to know that too, and you’ll need to fill in a nil return.

It almost certainly does matter if you leave this till the last minute on 6 July, because HMRC’s online system can be a bit wobbly sometimes, and if it crashes while you’re in the midst of filing, that’s not an excuse, in HMRC’s eyes, for being late.

Late filing will mean you get a fine (£100).  Later filing will mean you get another fine (another £300 for being 3 months late; another £300 for being six months late; and the potential for more fines if you’ve not got your return in after 9 months). Persistent late filing may mean HMRC become interested in other parts of your business, which is rarely welcome. 

If you’re finding managing your share plan returns a burden, get in touch and ask to speak to our compliance team on