Unapproved Options and Employees

Although the notification requirements for the grant of unapproved options to HMRC are much less than that for EMI, they do exist if you are giving unapproved options to employees.

You do not need to do an initial notification for employee unapproved options when first granted, but you do need to do an annual notification by July 6th each year for the previous financial year's activity.

This is a similar process to EMI, in that you first need to notify them of the existence of the scheme, then return after about 5 working days to notify the details. So it is important to leave plenty of time.

Unapproved options are considered to be "Other ERS Schemes and Arrangements"

Further guidance for this process, plus the ODS/CSV that must be used for the detailed return are to be found here:


To mitigate future tax charges under the 'restricted securities legislation', we would recommend that an employee is always required to enter into a section 431 election (see here) within 14 days of the exercise of unapproved options.

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