Employment and pensions

Employment-related securities annual returns | Changes to templates from 6 April 2023

Published on 31st Jan 2023

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HMRC publishing new employment-related securities annual return templates

On 19 January 2023, HMRC published Employment Related Securities Bulletin 47 which sets out details of some upcoming changes to the employment-related securities (ERS) end-of-year return templates from 6 April 2023.

HMRC will publish its new ERS end-of year-return template guidance and technical notes in February 2023, and HMRC's templates and submission checking service will be updated from 6 April 2023.

HMRC is providing advance notice of the changes so that companies can prepare the relevant information in time for end of year returns to be submitted. The deadline for the tax year ending 6 April 2023 is 6 July 2023. The bulletin contains specific guidance for companies using their own templates.

The main changes are that some fields will become mandatory for completion on all return templates submitted on or after 6 April 2023, as follows:

  • 'PAYE reference of the employing company' field (the employing company should be the company that has the PAYE obligation).
  • 'Is PAYE operated Y/N' field
  • 'National Insurance (NI) number' field (with amendments to column title headings).

HMRC notes that where (in exceptional circumstances) an individual needs to be included on a return but does not have an NI number, an alternative reference should be used only on the ERS end-of-year return. The bulletin details the format required for such a reference (which includes the employee's date of birth).

HMRC is also making a change to the ERS end of year return templates column title heading to clarify that HMRC is asking for a HMRC valuation reference.

Osborne Clarke comment

Companies operating employee share plans or employment-related securities arrangements should note that HMRC will be making changes to the templates and information required for the tax year ending 6 April 2023. This is particularly important for those companies using their own templates (as changes will need to be made in order for the returns to be submitted successfully).

HMRC will provide further information in the near future, and the new templates and guidance will be published on gov.uk during or after February 2023 (likely to be published on HMRC's ERS return templates and forms page).

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.

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* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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