EU State Aid on EMI share options ends on 6 April 2018

In a bulletin issued this week HMRC said the EU state aid approval for the EMI scheme expires on 6 April 2018 and no renewal agreement had yet been obtained from the EU.

The Government applied to the European Commission for fresh approval last year, and this late announcement came as a surprise as renewals have been obtained previously without concern. At this stage we have no reason to consider that agreement will not be received, but with Brexit coming ever closer there is always reason to consider our interaction with the EU in a fresh light and not assume that it’s business as usual.

Companies will be relieved that the tax advantages for EMI options granted before the deadline on 6 April, and on disposals of shares acquired under them, will not be affected by this. Companies considering a new grant of options from 7 April, though, do need to take care as currently they would not be eligible for the tax advantages of presently afforded to EMI option holders and it is recommended that advice is sought before taking any action during this period of uncertainty.

A link to the HMRC bulletin can be found here.

If you have any concerns or questions relating to this update, please contact Timothy Fussel.


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