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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

Supporting guidance: employer compliance guidance by subject: employment related securities: Schedule 4 Company Share Option Plan (CSOP): opening an enquiry

An enquiry can be opened:

  • into the declaration made by the company when notifying the Company Share Option Plan (CSOP) to HMRC, see ETASSUM41130
  • into the declaration on the annual return notifying an alteration to a key feature or variation of capital, see ETASSUM46140
  • where HMRC has reasonable grounds for believing that the requirements are not met or have not been met, see ETASSUM46100.


For details of the time limits for issuing a notice of enquiry see COG945250.

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 Schedule 4 CSOP scheme/plan rules
  • ancillary documents (share option application form, invitation letter, deed of grant of options, option certificate and notice of exercise)
  • the company’s resolution establishing the scheme and any resolution amending it
  • the company’s Articles of Association
  • the option/shareholder agreement and any schedule of performance conditions
  • any agreements or documents that cover arrangements made between the scheme operators and the scheme participants.


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 information powers at paragraph 33 to Schedule 4 to Income tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003, see ETASSUM46110.