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Online self-certification and filing processes for employee share schemes are to be launched by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
From 6 April employers need to register existing and new share schemes and arrangements online with HMRC. This will enable employers to file share scheme returns and information digitally, and to self-certify any tax advantaged Share Incentive Plans (SIP), Save As You Earn (SAYE) schemes and Company Share Option Plans (CSOP).
The changes implement recommendations made by the independent Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) on how the rules and processes for employee share arrangements should be simplified for businesses.
Speaking at the Employment Related Securities Registration, Self Certification and Online Filing Event in London on 25 March, David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said:
The OTS told us that the system of scheme approvals and submission of annual returns was out of date, frustrating and off-putting for business. The new simplified processes we are launching will be a significant improvement and I’m grateful to the OTS, businesses and advisers who have helped make this a reality.
HMRC is moving towards a digital future which will end many burdensome and time-consuming processes.
From 2014 to 2015, businesses will be required to file annual share scheme information returns with HMRC digitally (replacing the current system of paper submission). In addition, from 6 April businesses must self-certify CSOP, SAYE and SIP schemes to confirm that they meet legislative requirements.
More information about the changes can be found at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/shareschemes/erss-bulletin-14.pdf