HMRC have published information for companies on filing annual returns for the 2015/16 tax year (due by 6 July 2016). From 6 April 2016 companies will be able to file returns for Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI) and returns for non-taxed advantaged arrangements (those covered by the old Form 42). Returns for Share Incentive Plan (SIP), Save as You Earn (SAYE) and Company Share Option Plan (CSOP) schemes will be available “around the end of April”.
Most companies submit returns in ODS format (similar to Excel). Any companies wanting to submit returns using CSV files should note that the functionality to do this will not be available until late May: however, HMRC note that CSV files can still be prepared and checked (using the Employment-related securities Checking Service) before then.
This staggering of dates (and the fact that the July filing deadline may seem some way off) may tempt companies to delay preparing this year’s returns. Our experience is, though, that it can take several weeks to prepare the relevant forms (and longer where a share plan has not already been registered). Companies should plan and prepare now, even where online filing is not immediately available.
As a reminder, companies may need to report:
If you need to report events under a previously registered arrangement (for example further grants made under a plan which was notified to HMRC last year), there is no need to re-register that plan.
However, if you registered an arrangement last year but have no reportable events for the 2015/16 tax year, you must submit a ‘nil return’ to avoid automatic penalties arising for non-filing.
Any companies with outstanding returns for 2014/15 should note that the 2014/15 templates were withdrawn on 6 April. Any such returns will now need to be made using the 2015/16 template. HMRC’s latest Employment-related Securities Bulletin includes details of how to check whether any 2014/15 returns are outstanding.
Please get in touch with your usual Tax contact if you have any questions, or would like assistance either in determining whether a return is required, registering a plan or preparing and submitting your annual returns.