Tell HMRC about your employment related securities (ERS) schemes

Find out when and how to tell HMRC about new ERS schemes, or schemes that have ceased.

Gifts and awards of shares in companies, often known as employment related securities (ERS) are commonly used by employers to reward, retain or provide incentives to employees. They can be tax advantaged or non-tax advantaged.

When to tell HMRC

You must register all new ERS schemes with HMRC, including one-off awards or gifts of shares.

All new tax advantaged schemes should be registered by 6 July following the tax year it was established.

The following schemes cannot be registered after 6 July:

  • Share Incentive Plans (SIP)
  • Save as You Earn (SAYE)
  • Company Share Option Plans (CSOP)

You only need to register non-tax advantaged schemes when there’s a reportable event, for example acquiring or disposing of securities, or assigning or releasing securities options.


To tell HMRC about your ERS scheme, you need a Government Gateway user ID and password. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you use the service.

After you’ve told HMRC

Within 7 days, you’ll be allocated a scheme reference number. You need to log into ERS online services and ‘View schemes and arrangements’ to see your reference number.

You must submit an ERS return for each registered ERS scheme every year, even if there’s no reportable event.

For Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI) schemes, you must tell HMRC about a grant of an EMI option within 92 days of the date of the grant.

Tell HMRC that your ERS scheme has ceased

To tell HMRC about the cessation of your ERS scheme, you’ll need the Government Gateway user ID and password you used when you told HMRC about the scheme.

You’ll need to give a final event date.

You must submit any outstanding returns until the date of cessation.

Published 1 January 2014
Last updated 10 January 2020 + show all updates
  1. Guidance on how and when you'll get your scheme reference number has been updated.

  2. More information about how to tell HMRC about your ERS schemes has been added.

  3. First published.