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HMRC internal manual

Employee Tax Advantaged Share Scheme User Manual

Schedule 4 Company Share Option Plan (CSOP): Requirements relating to options: Non-transferability of options

To comply with paragraph 23(1) it must be clear that options granted under a Schedule 4 CSOP scheme are non-transferable. Schemes commonly provide that any attempt at such a transfer will render the option void.

Nominees

Although options must not be transferable, it may, in principle, be accepted for schemes which provide for shares acquired by option exercise to be registered in the name of a nominee.

An option-holder becomes the beneficial owner of the shares as soon as he exercises his option, even if arrangements are immediately implemented so that the legal ownership of the shares passes to a nominee. Subsequent disposal of the beneficial ownership of the shares will be a chargeable occasion for capital gains tax purposes.