Employment Related Securities Bulletin 34 (February 2020)

Find out about Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) State Aid, registering a new scheme and obtaining scheme reference, EMI Registration and timeline, most common issues and ceasing a scheme.

Employment related securities (ERS) bulletins give information and updates on developments relating to ERS, including the tax-advantaged employee share schemes.

HMRC publish ERS bulletins when:

  • articles or updates are available
  • HMRC has any item to bring to your attention quickly

Any reference to Income Tax (Earnings & Pensions) Act 2003(ITEPA) is to the current legislation as amended.

Contacting HMRC for advice

Make sure you include the relevant share scheme reference number if you have one when contacting us about share schemes. If you have not given the share scheme reference, HMRC may not be able to respond to or answer your query.

You can find more information on how to identify your share scheme reference number in ERS Bulletin 25.

EMI State Aid post 31 January 2020

HMRC can confirm that the EU Commission’s decision on the EMI Scheme will continue to apply until at least the end of the transition period.

HMRC will provide more information, when known, in respect of what the new domestic regime will be following the end of the transition period.

Registering a new scheme, getting a scheme reference and notifying HMRC

To register a new scheme you need an HMRC Online account. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you use the service, but you must first be registered for PAYE Online for Employers.

Once you’ve done this and within 7 days, we’ll allocate you a scheme reference number.

You need to log into ERS online services and ‘View schemes and arrangements’ to see your reference number. This will not be sent to you.

Find out more information about how to tell HMRC about your ERS scheme.

EMI Specific

Timing for EMI registration is important. As well as taking into account the time required to register the scheme, HMRC agreed valuations only last for 90 days.

Once EMI options are granted you must then notify these to HMRC within 92 days of the date of grant for the options to be qualifying EMI options.

Agreeing the valuation with HMRC is not notifying HMRC of the grant of an option.

All Schemes

If you’re an employer with a registered scheme, you must remember to submit an annual return (even if it is a nil return) by 6 July following the end of the tax year to prevent the automatic issue of late filing penalties.

Most common ERS issues and top things to remember

You can find more information about these in ERS Bulletin 26.

Cease a scheme registered in error or that is no longer required

If you need to cease a scheme, you can find guidance on this in ERS Bulletin 24 and ERS Bulletin 25.

If a PAYE scheme is ceased by an employer, further action is required if they need to cease a registered share scheme associated with the PAYE scheme.

You must cease the share scheme independently in ERS online and file any outstanding returns (even nil returns) to prevent late filing penalties.

HMRC’s contact address for share schemes enquiries

Our postal address, from 18 March 2019 is:

Charities, Savings and International 1

Changes to HMRC email addresses

We’ve been making changes to our email addresses in HMRC. You may have noticed that instead of our email addresses ending in, they end

Any emails that you send to our old email addresses will still redirect to us.

Contact HMRC about ERS Bulletins

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions for future articles you should email:

Published 11 February 2020