Have you given shares or share options to employees during the last tax year? You may have reporting obligations by 6 July 2020.

Form 42 is a HMRC return which is required each tax year to record shares or share options issued during the year to employees / directors or their family members. A similar return is required for EMI share options. The deadline for submission is 6 July 2020 for the tax year ended 5 April 2020.

If you did any of the following during the tax year, it is likely you will have reporting obligations:

  • Issued shares to employees/directors or the employee/directors family members
  • Issued share options to employees/directors or the employee/directors family members
  • Have an existing EMI scheme or set up a new EMI scheme in the period


It is important to remember that you must file an annual return for any schemes registered on HMRC’s online service even if there have been no reportable events in the year. A nil return is required until a plan is formally closed on the HMRC system.

In summary, companies with any type of employee or director share plan or incentive are likely to be required to register plans and submit annual returns online. This includes EMI schemes, a non-tax advantaged scheme or award, a Company Share Option Plan (CSOP), Save As You Earn scheme or Share Incentive Plan (SIP).

Penalties apply if the annual return is late or contains inaccurate information.

Every year we work with clients to get the filings done and the sooner the work is started the better as there are often issues with getting online access particularly for new schemes.

We will be contacting our clients to get this process underway very soon.

In the meantime, please contact our Form 42 team if you need help with this year’s reporting obligations.

Steve Holmes – sholmes@garbutt-elliott.co.uk

James Wright – jwright@garbutt-elliott.co.uk

John Low – jlow@garbutt-elliott.co.uk