If you are keen to incentivise, retain, and reward key staff, we can design and implement an attractive and effective share option scheme for the benefit of your employees.
The four tax-advantaged share option schemes approved by HMRC are:
- Enterprise Management Incentives (EMIs)
- Company Share Option Plans (CSOPs)
- Share Incentive Plans (SIPs)
- Savings Related Share Option Schemes (also known as Save As You Earn, or SAYE, schemes).
Prior to implementing any scheme, we will consider the conditions in light of your company’s circumstances to ensure that it is most suited to your business.
There could also be tax advantages to the shareholders as a subsequent outcome of the scheme.
The client had two employees who were key to the future growth of the company. The existing shareholder directors were concerned that the employees may look for opportunities elsewhere and were keen to encourage them to stay with the company by putting an incentive package in place.
We quickly established that an EMI Share Option Scheme would incentivise the employees by providing a mechanism through which they can become shareholders in the company.
By utilising an Employee Benefit Trust, the existing shareholders could also extract funds from the company in a tax efficient manner rather than their shareholdings simply being diluted by the issue of new shares to the employees.
Both the company and the employees were happy with our proposed solution so we implemented the EMI share option scheme, taking care of all the EMI share option scheme and Employee Benefit Trust documentation and agreeing the value of the shares with HMRC.
The two employees have been given targets, which if met, will allow them to exercise the EMI share options over 15% of the shares each, in three tranches over the next 10 years.
When the shares are exercised; the employees will have no tax to pay on the benefit received, the shareholders will receive a payment for the shares (potentially paying tax of 10% due to the likely availability of entrepreneurs relief), and the company will receive a corporation tax deduction for the funds contributed to the Employee Benefit Trust to facilitate the purchase of shares.
Our client found that the performance of the two employees increased noticeably as soon as discussions over the terms were entered into – now that the EMI scheme has been implemented the results should be even better.
PD Tax were appointed to assist a group of shareholders in selling their business to a third party. It was important to them that they sold their shares in the company to optimise their tax positions.
However, after carrying out due diligence, the buyers decided that they did not want to buy the trading company from the sellers because they thought that the company had undertaken an aggressive employee benefit trust (EBT) tax arrangement in the recent past (PD Tax did not advise on the EBT arrangement).
The buyers suggested that they buy the trade and assets from the trading company, as they were still keen to make the acquisition. However, this was not in the interests of the sellers because this meant that they would suffer a much higher rate of tax than if they sold the shares.
Therefore the EBT became a sticking point in the deal.
PD Tax worked with the sellers to develop a structure which meant that they could retain a low tax rate, whilst retaining the company which had carried out the planning, thus allowing the purchaser to acquire a new “clean” company.
We were able to develop a practical solution to the problem and the buyers were happy to utilise our proposal to overcome the EBT arrangement, as far as the sale was concerned.
With the support of PD Tax, the sellers were able to complete the sale without further discussion regarding the level of consideration for the business.