Deadline for filing employment related securities (ERS) and EMI annual returns

10th May 2021

The deadline for filing employment related securities (ERS) and EMI annual returns for the 2020/21 tax year is 6 July 2021.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, HMRC had relaxed some deadlines and penalties, but we expect a return to hard deadlines and automatic penalties this year.

Employers have an annual obligation to report any of the following events in relation to ERS during a tax year:

  • Grants of rights to acquire share or other securities (e.g. options or long incentive plan awards) to employees
  • Acquisitions of shares or other securities by employees
  • EMI options that have lapsed due to an employee leaving the company
  • EMI options which have been exercised
  • Changes to or lifting of restrictions on the options through changes to the scheme rules or individual awards

In order to file the relevant returns, employers who have a reporting obligation must register each plan or other arrangement with HMRC ERS Online Services (part of HMRC Online Services), if this has not already been done.

If no reportable events occur during a tax year in relation to a registered plan, a ‘nil’ return must be submitted by the filing deadline to avoid a penalty.

If a responsible person (normally the employer, but also including the person from whom securities or options were acquired) in relation to a reportable shares or securities event fails to make a share scheme return, they are liable to penalties under section s421JC ITEPA 2003 as follows:

Lateness Penalty
Miss annual filing deadline £100
3 months late £300
6 months late £300
9 months late £10 per day

If you would like Edwards to assist you with the preparation and submission of the annual ERS/EMI returns please contact Helen Cotton.