Employment-related securities and options: when shares are acquired for money’s worth charge
The acquisition of shares is treated as earnings in respect of the money’s worth of those shares. The earnings are treated as received at the time when the benefit is provided.
For Part 7 of ITEPA03 there is a specific statutory rule determining the date of acquisition in ITEPA03/S421B (2) (see ERSM20420). This does not apply to the money’s worth charge, although in practice there is unlikely to be any difference.
Entitlement itself may be conditional and the date of acquisition can then be dependent on the conditions being fulfilled. It is usually possible to determine the date of entitlement by a review of the rules of the scheme under which the shares are acquired.
If an employee becomes entitled to shares before they are transferred and that entitlement falls within Chapter 5 (i.e. under a securities option), there will not be any money’s worth charge in respect of the entitlement, as ITEPA03/S475 will override it. The “right to acquire securities” in that Chapter includes a conditional right, so that S475 applies to both unconditional and conditional rights to acquire shares.