The Office of Tax Simplification has published recommendations that extensive changes should be made to the UK’s four types of tax-advantaged employee share schemes:
- Share Incentive Plans (known as SIPs).
- Savings-Related Share Option Schemes (also known as SAYE or Sharesave).
- Company Share Option Plans (also known as CSOPs or HMRC-approved share option schemes).
- Enterprise Management Incentive Scheme options (known as EMI options).
The aim is to rationalise and simplify the complex tax rules applying to tax-advantaged employee share schemes. It is anticipated that the Chancellor will respond to the report in the Budget on 21 March, although any changes are not likely to take effect until 2013.
These changes will be of interest to any UK-based company that operates one or more of these plans. A summary of the recommendations at this stage is contained in our briefing, which can be accessed in our full article (PDF).