EMI share options: have you registered them within the deadline?

Article by Bishop Fleming.

Bishop Fleming is a partner for Growth Forge 2024, a business acceleration programme for ambitious tech companies. Learn more here.

An Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) share option scheme provides significant tax benefits to employees through the right to acquire shares in the future, but for their market value at the date of grant. 

However, as Lia Tse, a member of the tax team in our Bristol office explains, the rules are very strict on the requirement to notify HMRC of the grant of such options. 

If an EMI scheme is not notified by the statutory deadline, it will likely result in the advantageous tax benefits being lost.

Scheme registration with HMRC and notification

To simplify the process and bring it more closely aligned to the other HMRC-approved share option schemes,  the EMI notification statutory deadline has been extended from 92 days following the date of grant, to 6 July following the end of the tax year in which the option was granted. 

The change applies to EMI options granted on or after 6 April 2024.

While the change might ease the time pressure and administrative burden by having the EMI notification and annual Employment Related Securities (ERS) return filing deadlines on the same date, we would recommend registering a new EMI scheme and submitting the notification promptly to avoid a last-minute rush, or any unexpected delays.

It is worth noting that before you can submit an EMI notification via the HMRC online service, it can take up to four weeks to obtain a scheme reference number and for HMRC to update their records following a new scheme registration. 

It is therefore necessary to make sure there is sufficient time for this in order to submit the EMI notification on time.

Record of EMI notification

The HMRC online service will not save any of the information submitted as part of the notification and you will not be able to access the information, or a confirmation of receipt, again. 

Therefore, we would recommend keeping PDFs of screen prints of all the information submitted, together with the confirmation of receipt, as evidence of correct and on time notification.

Further information

If you would like to discuss a new or existing EMI or other share scheme, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our tax team.

EMI share options

See also our other articles on EMI share option schemes:

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