In the ERS Bulletin #27 published on 4 April 2018, HMRC had stated that following the expiration of the EU State Aid approval for Enterprise Management Incentives (“EMI”) on 6 April 2018, EMI options granted in the period from 7 April 2018 until EU State Aid approval is received may not be eligible for the tax advantages associated with EMI options and instead may be treated as unapproved options. Accordingly, HMRC had advised that companies may wish to delay the grant of EMI options until fresh EU State Aid approval has been given.
As HM Treasury officials continue to work with the Commission for obtaining the fresh EU State Aid approval, current indications are that the process is likely to take a few weeks. In the meantime, it is ‘business as usual’ so far as HMRC is concerned in respect of advance assurance applications and valuation of shares in respect of the grant of EMI options. If however you really have a need to grant EMI options in the short term, please contact us and we may be able to provide some useful suggestions.