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EMI option plans – delay grants after 6 April 2018


The current EU State Aid approval for EMI expired on 6 April 2018. The UK government has applied to the European Commission for fresh approval but is currently awaiting the Commission’s response. 

On 4 April 2018, HMRC published their Employment Related Securities Bulletin No 27 (April 2018) which states that in their view:

  • State Aid approval applies to share options granted up to and including 6 April 2018; but
  • 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 normally applicable to EMI options

Companies are recommended to delay the grant of employee share options intended to qualify as EMI share options until fresh EU State Aid approval has been given.