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HMRC internal manual

Employee Tax Advantaged Share Scheme User Manual

Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI): Requirements relating to options: Options capable of exercise within 10 years

It must be possible for a qualifying option to be exercised within ten years of the date of grant, but it does not have to be exercised within that period. For example, if the exercise of the option depends on the fulfillment of performance conditions, it must be possible to fulfill those conditions within ten years.

However, the option agreement does not have to prevent the employee from exercising the option after that time. If the employee does exercise the option more than ten years after the date of grant, there will be no tax relief under Schedule 5 on the exercise. The tax relief on grant of the option will be unchanged, (Paragraph 36).