HMRC says that they are concerned by the number of cases in which a company has registered a share scheme for the tax year 2014/15 but has not submitted an annual return online.

They say: 

This could be due to an oversight in filing an annual return, but we think there are likely to be many instances where the company made an error in registering a scheme – for example, by duplicating registrations.  Where this is the case the system will still require an annual return to be submitted on the ERS online service. If you have not done so already, please could you encourage companies with share schemes to check that they have submitted an annual return for each scheme they have registered – including schemes they might have wrongly set up. 

Companies can easily check whether a return has been submitted: Log into the HMRC online service and access the ERS online service. In this section select View Schemes and Arrangements which will display a table of registered schemes. Select the scheme to be checked and on the following page it will show whether the return for 2014/15 has been submitted.

To close a scheme registered in error for 2014/15, once again log into the HMRC online service and access the ERS online service and select View Schemes and Arrangements to display the table of registered schemes. Select the scheme to be closed and on the next screen select 'Enter date of final event'. We would recommend in these cases that you enter 6 April 2014.

There is no need for customers to call HMRC to check whether their return has been submitted.

Editorial comment

Perhaps like us, you set up test entries (we will be deleting ours following HMRC's message above). If you have had any problems submitting returns, can you send our Virtual Tax Partner helpdesk details, and we will pass them on to HMRC at the ERS forum next month.


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