After more than a month in limbo, yesterday the European Commission approved the UK’s ability to keep offering Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI).

It transpires that the lapse of approval was not any part of a Brexit ‘power struggle’; HMRC only applied for the extension in March 2018. It would have been very interesting to be a fly on the wall in the meeting that they realised the deadline was approaching…

The announcement on Europa, the Commission’s press release database, is not clear on when the permission applies from and only states that the scheme’s permission is extended. Although HMRC has yet to issue its own statement on the subject, our working assumption is that any EMI options granted between 7 April 2018 and 15 May 2018 will qualify for EMI and benefit from the tax reliefs of such schemes.

In relation to options granted between 7 April and 15 May 2018, we recommend that these are notified in the usual way.

The permission is extended until the UK ceases to be a Member State, subject to any withdrawal deal agreed with the EU. Until then…keep granting!