Richard Baxter and Constance Tait discuss the looming annual returns deadline for employee share schemes

  • June 18, 2021
  • By Richard Baxter, Partner and Constance Tait, Trainee Solicitor

Corporate clients and contacts should note that the deadline for registering new, or amended, employee share plans and filing annual returns for employee share plans is 6 July 2021.

All annual returns for 2020-21 must be filed online by 6 July 2021 and companies must have registered any annual share scheme through the government’s employment related securities online portal to do so.  Registration will take time, so businesses will need to ensure they do not miss the deadline while the registration process is completed. Companies must file nil returns for all inactive schemes and do so by the deadline in order to avoid automatic penalties.

Companies with tax advantaged schemes

Separate returns must be filed for each scheme. Companies must notify HMRC if they have amended a key feature of a company share option plan (‘CSOP’), save as you earn (‘SAYE’) option scheme or share incentive plan, including whether the amendment means the scheme no longer meets legislative requirements. Failure to register tax-advantaged schemes on time will affect the tax treatment of future or, with respect to CSOPs, current participants.

Companies with non tax-advantaged arrangements

A single return covering all arrangements or a separate return for each can be filed. HRMC offers guidance on what should be included in non tax-advantaged returns.

For specific advice on employee share schemes, or if you have questions about any other commercial or corporate issues, please contact Richard Baxter on 020 7412 0050 or    

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