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Share schemes reporting deadline

The deadline for submitting certain share scheme information to Revenue is approaching. On or before 31 March 2021 employers must submit the following forms to Revenue:

Share Options - RSS1

Employers are obliged to submit a Form RSS1 in any year in which an option is granted, exercised, transferred or released to an employee. The RSS1 for 2020 should be completed and submitted online via Revenue Online Service (ROS) on or before 31 March 2021.

Key Employee Engagement Programme - KEEP1

The Key Employee Engagement Programme (KEEP) is a focussed share option programme, intended to help SMEs attract and retain talent in a highly competitive labour market. The KEEP1 Form reports the grant, release, transfer and exercise of KEEP options by employees and directors.

Compliance with meeting the due date for filing Form KEEP1 is extremely important as failure to comply with this mandatory filing obligation will result in the company not being regarded as a qualifying company for KEEP and the tax favoured treatment being lost for their employees.

Approved Profit Sharing Schemes (APSS) - Form ESS1

A Form ESS1 is an annual return of information that is required to be submitted by the Trustees of an APSS.  Scheme approval may be withdrawn where this return is not submitted on time.

Other share schemes

Other Revenue-approved share participation schemes such as:

  • save as you earn options;
  • employee share ownership trust transactions

must also by submitted by 31 March 2021.

The above forms are in either spreadsheet or paper format which should be completed and submitted to Revenue via ROS.  Only registered ROS users may access and upload returns.

The appropriate forms are available on the Revenue website. Failure to comply with mandatory reporting obligations may result in a monetary penalty.

Changes for 2021

Finance Act 2020 introduced extensions to employer reporting requirements in respect of share awards given in the form of cash equivalents or where a discount on shares is provided.  The provisions also provide for mandatory electronic reporting of the information by 31 March of the following tax year.  This means that the electronic reporting requirements for employers is expanded to include a number of share awards that were previously not in scope. We understand that Revenue are developing a new share scheme return, for share schemes not covered by the existing returns, this new form is expected to be available by June 2021.

While the reporting deadline in 2020 was extended due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Revenue confirmed there will be no extension to the 31 March 2021 deadline for existing share scheme returns.

What next?

Contact your Grant Thornton advisor to discuss your reporting requirements and how we can assist you with filing the relevant Form(s) with Revenue.

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