UK and International Tax news

HMRC Confirms EMI Schemes To Continue After Brexit Transition

Wednesday 4th November 2020

HMRC has recently confirmed that Enterprise Management Incentive schemes will continue to be available after the end of the Brexit transition period.

In the latest Employment Related Securities Bulletin [37], HMRC has confirmed that EMI schemes, which allow companies to offer employees tax-free share options worth up to £250,000, will continue to be available after the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020.

EMI schemes are currently permitted under EU state aid rules.  In February 2020 HMRC confirmed that EMI schemes would be recognised only until the end of the transition period.  In its latest ERS bulletin, HMRC confirms that the schemes may operate from January 2021 under UK law.

EMI is open to companies with gross assets of £30m or less and with fewer than 250 full time equivalent employees that carry on a qualifying trade.  It permits them to offer share options worth up to £250,000 to qualifying employees over a three-year period as an incentive. If the shares are bought at the market rate at the time the options were granted, there is no income tax or national insurance payable on the discount between the market value of the shares when acquired compared to the price paid by the employee.

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