Budget 2016: Employee Share Schemes Simplification

The rules governing the statutory share schemes (Share Incentive Plan, Sharesave, CSOP and EMI) are complex and the legislation crosses into a number of the taxes acts.

In the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced that a number of technical changes would be made and the detail of those changes was released in the Budget documentation.

The scope of the simplification is limited: Part 5 of Schedule 7D to Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992 contained a number of measures relating to EMI options and had been largely redundant since the withdrawal of taper relief in 2008. The change announced in the Budget is that this part of Schedule 7D would be repealed.

This minor technical change is to be welcomed, but, as is acknowledged in the Budget documents, the repeal only removes one page of redundancy from the tax code and does nothing to widen the availability of EMI or to streamline its operation.