How do I close my growth share scheme with HMRC?

If there will be no more growth share issues, close the scheme on HMRC's Employee Related Securities system.

When you should close the scheme 

Let's begin by saying you must register your growth share scheme with HMRC and submit an annual return for the growth shares issued to UK employees and directors in the previous tax year. 

After you have completed these two steps and all the growth share issues have been notified for this tax year (and there are no unapproved options on the same scheme registered with ERS), you can close the scheme on HMRC's Employee Related Securities system.

This simply means that you won't need to submit a nil return every year, as the scheme will be closed and no further issues can be made. 

If the scheme isn't closed and you forget to submit a nil return, you will be subject to a fine. 

If you want to issue more growth shares in the future, the same process will apply in that the new scheme will need to be registered and an annual notification made, then it can be closed.

If you have granted unapproved options and they're registered on the same scheme with HMRC, don't close the scheme as unapproved options must have an annual return each year - whether any activity has taken place or not. 


How to close the scheme 

HMRC provides the steps to close a scheme

You need to log in to your HMRC Online Services for employers account with your Government Gateway ID, select the scheme you wish to close, and enter the date the scheme stopped (i.e. the last time growth shares were issued).  

Note that an accountant or agent cannot close the scheme, it must be done by someone within the company.

The date can be in the past, but an annual return must be submitted for the tax year in which the final event date falls. As we mentioned above, you should only close the scheme once you have submitted the last annual notification. 


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