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HMRC internal manual

Stamp Taxes on Shares Manual

Collectives: Authorised Contractual Schemes

What is an Authorised Contractual Scheme (ACS)?

An ACS is a form of Collective Investment Scheme. It has no legal personality and does not constitute an entity in its own right.

An ACS is essesntially a pool of assets held and managed on behalf of a number of investors who are the co-owners of the asset. The value of an investor’s interest in the scheme is represented by ‘units’ issued by the scheme.

The scheme has an operator (or manager) who is responsible for the operation of the scheme. The operator is also responsible for decisions about the investment of participants’ funds in accordance with the contractual arrangements.

The scheme will also have a depositary who is responsible for holding and safeguarding the assets of the scheme paricipants. The depositary will acquire and dispose of assets on behalf of the participants on the instructions of the operator.

An ACS must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the operator and depositary must also be FCA authorised persons. An ACS must comply with the conditions set down in section 235A FSMA 2000 (FSMA) regarding contractual schemes.

Authorised Contractual Scheme has the meaning given in Section 237(3) (FSMA) and ‘depository’ and ‘units’ have the meaning given in Section 237 (2) of FSMA

See STSM101230 for Stamp Duty and Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT) implications of ACS