Share plan return time is rapidly approaching

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 Related Securities (“ERS”), which can be accessed via the PAYE portal of the HMRC online Services. This includes the non-tax advantaged plans but only where there has been a reportable event.

Companies that have established a tax advantaged scheme such as the Enterprise Management Incentive Plan (“EMI”), Share Incentive Plan (“SIP”), Company Share Option Plan (“CSOP”) and Save As You Earn (“SAYE”) will need to self-certify that the schemes meet the legislative requirements and complete an online declaration.

What and when do I need to notify HMRC?

  • Any new share plan arrangements that require reporting.
  • A company has until 6th July following the tax year in which the scheme was established to notify HMRC of its existence and file a share plan return. A share plan return is required for each and every arrangement that has been registered.
  • New grants of EMI options – remember that all EMI options must be filed within 92 days of the date of grant. The EMI needs to be registered online before HMRC can be notified of a specific award.

HMRC do not send reminders to file a share plan return but they will issue automatic penalties for failure to file on time. A share scheme return is needed each and every year following the registration of the arrangement.

What are the penalties for failing to provide this information?

The first penalty is £100 for failing to meet the 6 of July deadline, then additional automatic penalties of £300 will be charged if the return is still outstanding on 6th October, and a further £300 if it’s still outstanding 6 months after that date. If a return is still outstanding 9 months after the 6th July, daily penalties of £10 a day may be charged.

RM2 act as ERS agents for our administration clients and file the returns on their behalf. If you need help with your returns, or simply want a review of your share plan arrangements give us a call on 0208 949 5522 or email