Tax Simplification Body Reviews UK Share Schemes
The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has put forward its recommendations on UK tax advantaged share schemes, designed to encourage take up, and reduce the burdens on those offering the schemes.
The recommendations follow an OTS simplification review of the four government approved employee share schemes attracting special tax reliefs. They are Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI), Company Share Option Plans (CSOP), Share Incentive Plans (SIP) and Save as you Earn (SAYE). Evidence was gathered through surveys, meetings and roadshows throughout the UK, with the OTS receiving input from employers and employees, tax and HR advisers, and representative bodies.
The recommendations include both technical and administrative simplifications. The key recommendations are as follows:
John Whiting, Tax Director for the OTS said: “We have looked hard to see whether the approved share schemes are still valid, given their decline in usage. Accordingly, we spent a lot of time gathering the views of the people that use them, and found that employers saw real benefits, citing greater commitment from employees, and better engagement across all employees. We think the way forward is to improve the current schemes and this has led us to recommend a number of technical and practical changes. Overall, we think the recommendations put forward today offer a common sense approach to simplify the various schemes for the thousands of employers offering them throughout the UK and will encourage wider use.”