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HMRC internal manual

Employee Tax Advantaged Share Scheme User Manual

Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI): Option notifications: Compliance with time limits

If a person fails to comply with a time limit for doing something, they are not regarded as having failed to comply if they had a reasonable excuse for not complying within the prescribed period and, if the excuse ceases, they perform the necessary action without unreasonable delay after the excuse has ceased (Paragraph 53).

What is reasonable will differ from case to case depending upon the particular circumstances.  The law provides that:

  • lack of funds to pay, unless attributable to events outside the company’s control, and
  • delay and / or inaccuracy by any person relied on to perform any task unless the company took reasonable care to avoid the failure,

are not reasonable excuses.

Where the company has a reasonable excuse but the excuse ceases, the company is treated as having continued to have the excuse if it remedies the failure without unreasonable delay after the excuse ceased. Where it is accepted that the company has remedied the failure without unreasonable delay after the reasonable excuse ceases, new time limits will then run from the date that failure was remedied (paragraph 53(2)).