Following a recent bulletin issued by HMRC on 4th April 2018 it appears that the EU State Aid scheme which sits behind the Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) Share Option scheme has expired with effect from 6th April 2018 and has not currently been renewed.

The official guidance from HMRC is that any EMI share options granted in the period from 7 April 2018 until EU State Aid approval is received may not be eligible for the usual EMI tax treatment and may fall to be treated as non-tax advantaged options. This will clearly have serious consequences for option holders and companies.

The full text of the HMRC bulletin can be found here.

HMRC are advising that as a result of this no new EMI share options should be granted after 6th April 2018 until such time as the fresh EU approval has been given.

If you require more detailed advice in relation to the issues raised in this update, please contact our Corporate and Commercial team.