The Company Share Option Plan (CSOP) is a form of share incentive arrangement under which qualifying companies can grant tax-advantaged options to their employees. There is a limit on the value of CSOP options that an employee can hold at any one time and for many years this has stayed at £30,000.
Today's announcement that this limit will be doubled to £60,000 from April 2023 will be very welcome news to those qualifying companies and participants that find themselves held back by the existing cap. Another important announcement is that some of the restrictions on the class of shares that can be used for CSOP options will be eased to bring them closer to the rules of the more flexible Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) tax-advantaged option scheme. This change will make CSOP available to a wider range of eligible companies, particularly in the private sector, although other qualification rules (such as those on control) mean that it continues to be unavailable to some.