Employment related securities: changes from April 2023

09 February 2023

If you offer gifts or awards in the form of company shares there are some changes coming in April that you will need to be aware of.

First, the Employment Related Securities (ERS) end of year return template will change from 6 April 2023. The new templates will be published in February and the checking service updated from 6 April 2023. The changes are:

  • the ‘PAYE reference of the employing company’ field will become mandatory on all templates
    • This is the company with the PAYE obligation. ‘Grantor company PAYE reference’, ‘PAYE reference of company whose securities under option’ and ‘PAYE reference of company whose securities acquired’ will all remain optional.
  • ‘Is PAYE operated Y/N’ field will become mandatory on all templates
  • National Insurance number field will become mandatory on all templates and column heading changed to remove ‘if applicable’
    • In the unlikely event no National Insurance number is available for the worker, the guidance specifies how to fill this field in
  • the heading title of the ‘share valuation HMRC reference’ columns will change from ‘If yes, enter the HMRC reference given’ to display ‘If yes, enter the HMRC valuation reference given’ on all templates
    • The guidance also explains how to amend your own template, if used, to ensure the file can be submitted.

If incomplete data is submitted after the changes come into effect, you may risk the returns being rejected on submission.

Secondly, changes to the Company Share Option Plan share options limit and share class restrictions will take effect from 6 April 2023. The new limits and removal of restrictions were announced back in September 2022. You do not need to do anything currently, but updated guidance will be issued in due course.

Finally, the ERS guidance has been updated to clarify how to register for the service, register a new scheme and cease a scheme.

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