Share schemes – call for change
The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has undertaken a review of the tax position on unapproved employee share schemes. Its conclusion is that the legislation needs a thorough overhaul – I whole heartedly agree.
The law on share transfers, incentives, etc. that do not fall within the approved schemes is complicated and puts barriers in the way of share ownership.
The OTS made a number of recommendations, including:
• Aligning the tax regime on shares with the taxation of general earnings; the default position would be that no tax charge arises until the security can be sold for cash;
• The introduction of an ‘employee shareholding vehicle’ to enable companies to manage and create a market for shares;
• Reducing the amount of information required on the annual return, form 42 (and integration of the form into the real time information system in the longer term);
• Extending the PAYE deadline (for all employment-related securities) from 14 to 60 days after the end of the tax month.
These changes would be of real benefit to businesses and employees and I do hope the government listens and takes action – soon.
Date: 13th February, 2013
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