If your company runs a share scheme for your employees, you must submit an online annual report to HMRC about the scheme’s actions in 2017-18, by 6 July 2018. We can help you with this once the share scheme has been registered.
Be careful not to re-register an existing share scheme by clicking on the wrong button, as duplicated schemes will generate unnecessary penalties. There are automatic £100 penalties if the annual report is late, a further £300 if it is three months late and then another £300 if it is six months late.
If nothing has happened during the year, a nil report must be submitted. If the scheme was closed during the year, an annual report is still required for that year. Enterprise management incentive schemes may have to report during the year that options have been granted, as this must be done with 92 days of the date of the grant.
The annual return must be submitted as a spreadsheet using one of HMRC’s templates which should not be altered in any way. There are different templates for each type of tax-advantaged (formerly known as ‘approved’) share schemes.
If the share scheme is not tax-advantaged, it doesn’t have to be registered with HMRC until there is a reportable event. This covers situations where employees are given shares or share options outside a formally established share scheme.
It can take up to ten days for HMRC to approve the share scheme registration and issue a scheme reference number, which is needed to submit the annual report. Don’t leave dealing with the share scheme until the last few days before the deadline.