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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Share options: what are share options?

These are schemes by which an employee has a right to purchase shares at a fixed price. If the employee’s personal representatives have a right to exercise an option then the option is an asset of the estate. The option price is fixed but the value of the option is not necessarily just the difference between the value of the shares at the date of death and the option price. This is because there is a possibility that the shares will increase, or decrease, in value before the option expires.

There are two main types of share option schemes. They are