On 27 November 2015, HMRC clarified the start date for the changes (announced in the Autumn Statement) to stamp duties on transfers to clearance services and depositary receipt issuers on exercise of options.

It was announced in the Autumn Statement that shares transferred to a clearance service   or depositary receipt issuer following exercise of an option will be subject to stamp duty (or SDRT) at a rate of 1.5% of the higher of market value of the shares or the option strike price. This is intended to prevent avoidance on options with a strike price significantly below (for call options) or above (for put options) market value.

HMRC has now confirmed this treatment will apply to options exercised on or after 16 March 2016 (the date of the 2016 Budget), but entered into on or after 25 November 2015.