Annual returns for employment-related securities | deadline 6 July 2021

Written on 14 May 2021

The deadline for submitting HMRC annual returns in respect of employment-related security arrangements for the tax year ending 5 April 2021 is 6 July 2021. Action should be taken soon if you have not started to gather together the necessary information.

Annual returns containing details of reportable events during the tax year must be submitted online to HMRC by 6 July for all:

  • tax-advantaged plans (including enterprise management incentive, or EMI, options); and
  • non-tax advantaged employment-related securities arrangements (this is widely drawn and will broadly capture any shares if the right or opportunity under which they were acquired was available because of an office or employment).

Companies that have adopted new arrangements during the tax year ending 5 April 2021 are reminded that, in order to submit an annual return, it is necessary for the company to first register the "scheme" with HMRC’s online employment-related securities service. The registration process takes up to 10 days, so it is important to allow time for registration to enable companies to meet the 6 July deadline for filing annual returns.

Companies that operate tax-advantaged SIPs (share incentive plans), CSOPs (company share option plans) or savings-related share option (Save As You Earn or SAYE) plans will also need to complete the important self-certification declaration as part of the annual returns process.

Further information, together with the templates to be completed and submitted with the annual returns, is available on HMRC’s employment-related securities service.

Late filing will trigger automatic penalties from HMRC and will have particularly serious consequences for tax-advantaged plans. Action should be taken soon if you have not started to gather together the necessary information.

Some practical points for companies to note include the following:

  • there are separate templates to use for each type of tax-advantaged plan, and the “Other” template should be used for arrangements which are not tax-advantaged;
  • if there has been no activity for a registered scheme in respect of the tax year then a nil return should be filed; and
  • it is important to take screenshots of all the information uploaded to HMRC, for the company’s records.

Please get in touch with your usual Osborne Clarke contact or one of the experts below if you have any queries or would like to discuss further.