Companies trying to submit their annual share scheme returns online to HMRC since Friday 3rd July have not been able complete the submission process, due to technical problems with HMRC's online system.

HMRC have confirmed that there will be an extension to the deadline for filing annual returns that were due by 6th July.   We understand that the extension will run for 5 working days from the date on which the online service is up and running again, which is not expected to happen until Monday 13th July at the earliest.  HMRC are advising companies to try the service again on Monday 13th July. 

HMRC has not yet confirmed how the automatic penalty process will work in practice for those who were not able to file their returns by 6th July because of the technical problems - it is not yet clear whether companies will still receive automatic penalty letters which they would need to refute.

HMRC have, however, confirmed that the technical problems did not affect the online share scheme registration system, the return template checking service or online EMI option grant notifications.