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Share plan reporting

31 January 2019

Nearly all actions involving employees’ and directors’ shares are reportable. If you operate a share plan for employees or directors, or they have acquired shares in the company, you will almost certainly have to submit a return to HMRC to notify all transactions in employment related securities (ERS). Transactions for each tax year should be included in the return for that year which must be submitted by 6 July following the end of that fiscal year. 

If you are unsure about your obligations, you can use our free share plan reporting tool to check the position. 


HMRC estimated that over 36% of returns due for 2016/17 were late and attracted automatic penalties. The penalties are up to £700 and daily penalties can also be applied where returns are submitted more than 9 months after the deadline. 

Our experience 

Since the introduction of online reporting, we have submitted over 3,000 returns on time with no penalties incurred. Our intimate knowledge of the reporting process and system means we can quickly resolved problems and bring your reporting up to date to minimise the risk of incurring penalties.

In most cases, we act as authorised agents and are able to complete additional company obligations that many agents cannot, such as plan registration and ceasing plans. We use online meetings and webinars to help clients meet their compliance obligations as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

We recommend that employers start the annual return process as early as possible. You will need time to avoid problems and identify all reportable events, such as where share options have been exercised or restricted stock units vested for internationally mobile employees.

How BDO can help

Late returns trigger automatic penalties and the consequences for late certification can be even more expensive but BDO's specialists can ensure you meet all the deadlines. We will help you:

  • Identify all share scheme reporting obligations
  • Complete the online registration process and make the scheme return disclosures and filings
  • Assist with historic reporting to ensure your records are up to date, to put a stop to further penalties.

BDO Equity Reporter

The BDO Equity Reporter is a bespoke tool designed to streamline your ERS filing. BDO Equity Reporter is ideal for companies that operate share incentives for hundreds of employees (or where there are multiple transactions per employee). As well as saving you time, BDO Equity Reporter gives you a secure portal to project manage the returns process and provides detailed analysis of your share plans that you may need for payroll tax diagnostics, calculating corporation tax deductions and the apprenticeship levy. Read more

For help and advice on creating the right incentive plan to help your business grow, please contact Andy Goodman or David Gardner.

Read more on Share plans and incentives

National Contacts