On 4 April 2018 HMRC published an update in relation to the enterprise management incentive (EMI) scheme. The EMI regime is subject to EU State Aid approval which expired on 6 April 2018. The government has been seeking an extension to this approval but has yet to receive final confirmation of it from the EU Commission.
What this means?
HMRC's guidance is that EMI options granted on or before 6 April 2018 will still benefit from the tax advantages of the EMI scheme.
However, their view is that EMI options granted after that date but before the State Aid approval is received may not qualify (and will therefore be regarded as unapproved options which do not benefit from the EMI tax advantages).
Employers may want to delay granting any further EMI options until the State Aid approval has been granted. We do not know when this will be but the guidance note states that the government is working hard to ensure that the period is as short as possible.