HMRC has announced, with little warning, that the state aid approval for Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) share schemes will lapse today, 6th April 2018. This means that any new options granted from 7th April 2018 may no longer be certain to qualify for EMI tax advantages.
The government has applied to the European Commission for new approval but are still awaiting the Commission’s final response. There will now be a period between the lapse of the current approval on 6th April and the renewal by the European Commission. We are told that the government is working hard to ensure that this period is as short as possible.
What this means for you
Companies who have granted EMI share options up to 6th April should not worry as these will not be affected. If you are in the process on setting up a new scheme and are yet to grant your share options, our advice is: don’t panic!
We are expecting this period of uncertainty to be short. Companies who are preparing to grant EMI share options should consider pausing until the EU state aid has been renewed. We will issue an update when HMRC make further announcements, but for now you can find their full guidance here.
If you have any further questions about this, or for any other tax advice, please get in touch.
Lisa Baum, Senior Tax Specialist