Annual share reporting obligations for employers

The filing deadline for the reporting on Employee hare Awards (Form ESA) and Share Option Plans (Form RSS1) for 2021 is 31 March 2022.

Employee Share Awards

The ESA reporting obligation applies to the following share awards:

  • Restricted Stock Units (RSUs)
  • Discounted shares
  • Restricted shares
  • Convertible shares
  • Forfeitable shares
  • Growth shares
  • Any other award with cash-equivalent of shares.

An employer has an obligation to file the Form ESA for any year in which:

  • A company awards share falling under any of the above categories
  • A chargeable event occurs regarding convertible securities
  • Shares are forfeited
  • An RSU is share settled or cash settled.

Share Options

In respect of share options and other rights granted to directors and employees, employers are obliged to file a Form RSS1 providing information to Revenue in relation to the grant, assignment or release of rights, allotment of shares on the exercise of a right, or the transfer of any asset under rights granted.

The ESA, similar to the RSS1 (Share Options Return) must be filed electronically whereby a pre-formatted spreadsheet is uploaded directly to the Revenue Online Service (ROS).

Other share reporting requirements

Key Employee Engagement Programme (KEEP)

The KEEP is a focused share option programme aimed at small and medium sized enterprises. The Form KEEP 1, like the RSS1, must be submitted in electronic format. It requires reporting of the grant, release, assignment, and exercise of options awarded to directors and employees only.

Approved Profit Sharing Schemes (APSS)

Employers are obliged to report details of certain events and transactions in shares held by an APSS trust on a Form ESS1. From the tax year 2020, the Form ESS1 must be filed in electronic format.

Save As You Earn (SAYE) plans and Employee Share Ownership Trust (ESOT) transactions continue to be filed in paper format.

The Employment Tax team in BDO can assist you with all Revenue reporting obligations for share plans.

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