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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

HM Revenue & Customs
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Supporting guidance: employer compliance guidance by subject: employment related securities: Schedule 3 Save As You Earn (SAYE): overview

A company must give notice of a Save as You Earn (SAYE) share option scheme by 6 July, following the end of the tax year in which the first grant date falls (paragraph 40A to Schedule 3 to the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003, see ETASSUM37030.

Where notice of the scheme is made after this date, the SAYE scheme will only be tax advantaged from the tax year in which the notification is made. For example, the first grant date falls during 2014-15. The company must notify HMRC of the scheme by 6 July 2015. If the company does not give notice until 31 January 2016, the SAYE is only tax advantaged from 2015-16.

HMRC can enquire into the SAYE:

  • to make sure the scheme meets the legislative requirements
  • to check whether the scheme has been operated in accordance with the scheme rules.

Following declaration of the SAYE, the company must submit annual returns, including nil returns, ending with the year in which the termination condition is met, see ETASSUM11700.