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Registering your Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) Plan - deadline approaching

If you have an existing EMI Plan, you may already be aware that the deadline to register your existing EMI Plan with HMRC is 6 July 2015. Here’s our short guide on why and how to register.

Why must I register my existing EMI Plan with HMRC?

  • HMRC is attempting to simplify compliance administration by moving from paper to online filing. To facilitate this, UK tax legislation now requires registration of share plans online. 
  • If you do not register your existing EMI Plan with HMRC then the tax advantages of the EMI Plan may be lost, even if previously 'approved' under the now redundant registration process. You will also not be able to notify HMRC of the grant of any EMI option before the EMI Plan is registered online. 

How to register your EMI Plan with HMRC

  • We are unable to register the EMI Plan on your behalf, this is something that the Company must do. Please follow this link which gives more information on the registration process at pages seven and eight.
  • To register the EMI Plan you will need to be registered to use HMRC Online Services and have access to PAYE for employers. Once you have signed up to this HMRC services, it can take up to seven days to receive your login details so it is better to register sooner rather than later.
  • You can use any active or live PAYE reference number to register EMI Plans. If you want to keep your EMI Plan information separate to the Company's PAYE information then you will need to register the EMI Plan under a different PAYE reference. You will need to set up a separate organisational account to be able to do this.
  • You only need to register the EMI Plan once. Once it is registered, it will be allocated a unique scheme reference number.

How to register the grant of an EMI option

  • Once you have registered your EMI Plan, you can authorise us to act as your agent to register the EMI option on your behalf. We will need your PAYE reference and Office reference in order to be set up as an agent. Alternatively, you can register online direct. To do so you effectively need the information to hand about type of shares, unrestricted market value etc that you needed previously for the hard copy EMI notifications. 
  • The online notification of a grant of the EMI option must be submitted within 92 days of the date of grant or it won't be a qualifying EMI option.

End of year return

  • Something else to bear in mind is that the unique scheme reference number can be used to submit an end of year return. End of year returns must be submitted online by 6 July following the end of the tax year. If a return isn't received by this date, automatic penalties will apply. The first end of year returns can be submitted online from 6 April 2015. 

We would advise that you register your existing EMI Plan(s) well before 6 July 2015 because we have found that registration takes longer than anticipated and as with anything new, there is a learning curve for all involved.

Please note that online registration with HMRC applies to other employment related securities, not just EMI Plans. For example, HMRC will also expect you to register any existing Share Incentive Plans, Company Share Option Plans and other employment related securities with HMRC in advance of the 6 July 2015 deadline. 

If you would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact Lucy Kirk on +44 (0)333 006 0651 or lucy.kirk@TLTsolicitors.com.

This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at April 2015. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases; we cannot be held responsible for any action (or decision not to take action) made in reliance upon the content of this publication.

TLT LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England & Wales number OC 308658 whose registered office is at One Redcliff Street, Bristol BS1 6TP England. A list of members (all of whom are solicitors or lawyers) can be inspected by visiting the People section of this website. TLT LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 406297.

by Lucy Kirk

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