HMRC’s latest Employment-Related Securities Bulletin focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on employee share and incentive schemes. Here is our enhanced version.

Contacting HMRC for advice 

  • When contacting HMRC about Share schemes make sure to include the relevant share scheme reference number.
    • HMRC may not be able to respond to or answer your query without this reference.
  • Further information on how to identify your share scheme reference number can be found in ERS Bulletin 25

Continuing review during the Coronavirus pandemic

  • HMRC continues to review the impact of Coronavirus across all tax-advantaged share schemes and will provide updates when necessary.

Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI): working time requirement

  • In ERS Bulletin 36 HMRC set out their understanding in respect of EMI option holders who found they no longer met the working time requirement and advised that legislative changes were being made to support this.
  • The government announced at Budget 2021 that it will legislate in Finance Bill 2021, to extend the time-limited exception that ensures that employees who are furloughed or working reduced hours because of Coronavirus, continue to meet the working time requirements for EMI schemes.
  • The change will apply to existing participants of EMI schemes and it also allows employers to issue new EMI options to employees who do not meet the working time requirement as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • This measure will have effect until 5 April 2022.
  • See Budget 2021: Subscriber guide and EMI: Enterprise Management Incentive Scheme

EMI: call for evidence

  • As part of the review announced at Budget 2020, the government has published a consultation at Budget 2021 on whether and how to expand the current EMI scheme to ensure it offers effective support for high-growth companies seeking to recruit and retain key employees.
    • This call for evidence seeks views and evidence on whether and how the scheme should be expanded.
  • See Enterprise Management Incentives Call for Evidence

Save-As-You-Earn (SAYE)

  • HMRC confirmed their decision in ERS Bulletin 35 to extend the payment holiday for SAYE participants who are unable to contribute because they’re furloughed or on unpaid leave, during the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • HMRC can confirm that this decision and guidance still applies and will be subject to ongoing review. The examples in ERS Bulletin 36 are still relevant.

Shares Asset Valuation (SAV) Mailbox

Non Statutory Clearance (NSC) process

  • HMRC shares schemes teams continue to provide advice and support where possible, in response to enquiries sent to the Shareschemes mailbox, which is detailed below.
    • This mailbox should be used for general or straightforward enquiries.
  • You can find further guidance in the Employee Tax Advantaged Share Scheme User Manual and the Employment Related Securities Manual.
  • For cases of complexity or where there may be ambiguity in the application of the legislation, the NSC process is the appropriate method for contacting HMRC.
    • You should follow the Non-Statutory Clearance Service guidance and provide information as set out in the relevant Appendix (Usually Appendix A).
  • You should avoid sending enquiries to personal email addresses unless it is in connection with an existing matter and communications are already ongoing.
    • This will avoid a delayed response if the person whom you have contacted is out of office and is not aware of your enquiry until their return.

HMRC’s contact details for share schemes enquiries

Charities, Savings and International 1
HMRC
BX9 1AU

Changes to HMRC email addresses

  • HMRC have been making changes to their email addresses.
  • Email addresses ending in @hmrc.gsi.gov.uk will instead end @hmrc.gov.uk.
  • Any emails sent to HMRC's old email addresses will still redirect to them.

External link

HMRC ERS Bulletin March 2021 


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