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How to File an EMI Annual Return with HMRC

Filing an EMI (Enterprise Management Incentive) annual return with HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) is a crucial task for companies offering share options under the EMI scheme. The process ensures compliance with tax regulations and maintains the favorable tax treatment for both the company and its employees. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you file your EMI annual return accurately and on time.

1. Understand the EMI Annual Return

The EMI annual return is a report that companies must submit to HMRC each year, detailing any changes or events related to their EMI share options during the tax year. This includes new options granted, options exercised, and options that lapsed or were cancelled.

2. Gather Necessary Information

Before you begin the filing process, make sure you have all the relevant information at hand:

  • Details of any new EMI options granted during the tax year, including the number of options, the grant date, and the exercise price.
  • Information on any options that have been exercised, including the date of exercise and the number of shares acquired.
  • Details of any options that have lapsed or been cancelled.
  • Confirmation of any disqualifying events affecting the EMI options.

3. Access the HMRC Online Service

To file your EMI annual return, you need to use HMRC’s online service. Follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your HMRC online account. If you don’t have an account, you will need to register for one.
  2. Once logged in, navigate to the ‘Employment Related Securities’ section.
  3. Select the option to file an EMI annual return.

4. Complete the EMI Annual Return Form

The online form will guide you through the process of reporting your EMI activities. You will need to:

  • Enter the details of any new EMI options granted during the tax year.
  • Report any options exercised, including the number of shares and the dates of exercise.
  • Provide information on any options that have lapsed or been cancelled.
  • Confirm any disqualifying events that have occurred.

Ensure that all the information you provide is accurate and matches your company records.

5. Submit the Return

After completing the form, review all the information to ensure accuracy. Once you are satisfied, submit the return. HMRC will send you a confirmation email acknowledging receipt of your EMI annual return.

6. Keep Records

It’s essential to keep detailed records of your EMI annual return and all related documentation. This includes:

  • Copies of the submitted return.
  • Confirmation emails from HMRC.
  • Any correspondence related to EMI options granted, exercised, lapsed, or cancelled.

Maintaining accurate records will help you manage your EMI scheme effectively and ensure compliance with HMRC requirements.

7. Deadlines and Penalties

The EMI annual return must be filed by 6 July following the end of the tax year. For example, for the tax year ending 5 April 2024, the return must be filed by 6 July 2024. Failing to file on time or providing incorrect information can result in penalties and may affect the tax-advantaged status of your EMI scheme.


Filing an EMI annual return with HMRC is a vital task for companies offering EMI share options. By following this guide and ensuring you submit accurate and timely information, you can maintain compliance and continue to provide valuable incentives to your employees. If you are unsure about any aspect of the process, consider seeking advice from a tax professional or consultant to ensure everything is handled correctly.

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