On 4 April this year, HMRC announced that the tax benefits of options granted under an EMI scheme would be put on hold temporarily as the necessary EU State Aid had expired. Under this guidance, any EMI options granted after 6 April 2018 could not be guaranteed to bring the tax benefits usually associated with the scheme.
The EU Commission announced on 15th May that EU State Aid is now again in place, meaning that EMI options will now once again attract these tax benefits.
Subject to the withdrawal negotiations, this is stated to apply until the UK ceases to be a EU Member State.
You can read the press release from the European Commission in full here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEX-18-3803_en.htm
It is not yet clear whether options granted from from 7 April 2018 to today’s date will be qualifying; however, the wording of the EU announcement suggests that State Aid will be given retrospectively to cover this period. HMRC is due to provide further details in the coming days.
For more information on granting EMI options in your business or for guidance if you have been affected by this delay, contact our specialist Corporate Tax team.