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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

Supporting guidance: employer compliance by subject: employment related securities: Schedule 2 Share Incentive Plan (SIP): opening an enquiry

An enquiry can be opened:

  • into the declaration made by the company when notifying the Schedule 2 SIP to HMRC, see ETASSUM20110
  • into the declaration on the annual return notifying an alteration to a key feature or variation of capital, see ETASSUM27140
  • where HMRC has reasonable grounds for believing that the requirements are not met or have not been met. See ETASSUM27100.

For details of the time limits for issuing a notice of enquiry see COG945140.

Opening the enquiry

You should send the opening letter [available in SEES] to the company, and the agent if authorisation held, together with Factsheet CC/FS1e or CC/FS1f, as appropriate, and include details of the information required, for example:

  • the trust deed, plan rules and ancillary documents (free share agreement, partnership and matching share agreement)
  • the provisions in the company’s Articles of Association which regulate the shares and affect the operation of the scheme
  • the terms of any shareholder agreements to which shares may be subject to
  • any arrangements made between the SIP administrator (or the company) and the participants
  • invitation documents prepared in conjunction with the trustee or administrator
  • award certificates.


Your letter should include a deadline date for the company to provide the information required.

If there is no response, or the information and documents requested have not been provided by the deadline, you should consider using the information powers at paragraph 93(3) to Schedule 2 to the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003, see ETASSUM27110.