As we noted in our May alert, the filing deadline for your UK annual share plan returns for the 2016/17 tax year are fast approaching. Usually, the deadline would be 6 July but, on Friday, HMRC announced that the deadline for this year has been extended to 24 August 2017 in recognition of the issues experienced with the ERS Online service this year.
More detail can be found in our May alert, but here are a few key points:
- share plan returns must be filed online with HMRC each year in respect of ‘reportable events’ in the preceding tax year (so this year, events from the 2016/17 tax year must be reported);
- reportable events include grants, vestings, exercises, lapses, adjustments, rollover and cancellations;
- in most cases, a nil return is required even where there have been no reportable events;
- the returns can be made using templates available on HMRC’s Employment-Related Securities Online Services, accessible via HMRC’s PAYE Online Services (note that we recommend downloading new templates each year);
- before you can submit your filing, you must register the relevant share plan;
- UK tax advantaged share incentive plans (SIPs), save-as-you-earn plans (SAYE or sharesave plans) and company share option plans (CSOPs) must also be self-certified as compliant with the relevant UK tax legislation in the first year in which you make awards and, for subsequent filings, you will need to disclose any amendments to ‘key features’ of those plans and confirm that the amendments are in line with the relevant UK tax legislation; and
- there are consequences for not meeting the deadline, including financial penalties for failing to register your plans and/or file your annual share plan returns on time (or for registering/filing incorrectly) and any new UK tax-advantaged plans will also lose their tax status if you fail to register and self-certify them by the deadline.
The extension to 24 August 2017 will be generally welcomed. However, we would still recommend that you progress your registration/self-certification process as soon as possible in order to ensure that no issues arise at the last minute.
If you would like our help in preparing your 2017 annual share plan filing or registering/self-certifying your plans this year, please do let us know.
We would be delighted to help!
Sarah and Matthew