HMRC has announced that due to technical issues with its online filing system, the filing deadline for employment related securities online returns for 2016-17 has been extended to 24 August 2017.

The employee share scheme return was originally due to be filed online by 6 July 2017. HMRC should have sent you a Notice to File by now, but even if you have not received one, there is still an obligation to notify HMRC of reportable events under the scheme (such as the grant, exercise or lapse of options). The revised 24 August date applies to EMI, Share Incentive Plans, Company Share Option Plans and unapproved share incentives, now known as the ‘other’ form.

For tax approved schemes, there is a requirement to complete the return if a scheme has been registered online, even if no options have been granted and no options are still outstanding. A report on the ‘other’ form is only required if there has been a reportable event. Schemes registered or reportable events occurring after 6 April 2017 will not need to be included in an annual return until 6 July 2018.

The usual penalties will apply if a return is not filed by 24 August 2017. An initial fine of £100 will be trigged while further penalties will be imposed if a return remains outstanding for more than three months, six months and nine months. These periods will run from the original filing deadline of 6 July 2017.