An introduction to tax-advantaged share option schemes for corporate lawyers
Produced in partnership with Dilpa Raval of CMS and Graham Muir of CMS
An introduction to tax-advantaged share option schemes for corporate lawyers

The following Corporate practice note Produced in partnership with Dilpa Raval of CMS and Graham Muir of CMS provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • An introduction to tax-advantaged share option schemes for corporate lawyers
  • Key features of the schemes
  • Shares
  • Option price
  • Maximum participation
  • Exercise
  • Employee eligibility
  • Self-certification of schemes
  • Tax reliefs available under CSOP and SAYE scheme options
  • Employees
  • More...

This Practice Note describes:

  1. the types of option that may be granted under a tax-advantaged Company Share Option Plan (CSOP) and a tax-advantaged Save As You Earn (SAYE) scheme

  2. the statutory conditions that CSOP options and SAYE scheme options must satisfy to obtain the available tax advantages, and

  3. the tax benefits of CSOP options and SAYE scheme options

CSOP options and SAYE scheme options are types of tax-advantaged employee share options which give the holder the right to call for those shares in a company (the Scheme Company) that are subject to the option at a future date at a price (option price) determined at the date of grant.

A CSOP or SAYE scheme that is established by the parent company of a group may be extended to all or any of the companies in the group.

Although there are a number of similarities between a CSOP and an SAYE scheme, there are two key differences:

  1. the Scheme Company may choose which of the employees who satisfy the eligibility criteria may participate in a CSOP, whereas an SAYE scheme is an all-employee share option scheme and invitations to participate must be made to all employees who satisfy the eligibility criteria, and

  2. the grant of an SAYE scheme option is conditional on the employee entering into a savings contract approved by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) with

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