Bruce Wallace Associates London
Bruce Wallace Associates London


June 2020

1 June, 2020

Share Option Annual Returns

Q. We have had no option exercises this year. Do I still need to file a return? When is the deadline and can I file the return myself or do I need special software to do this?

A. If you are an employer operating employment related securities (ERS) schemes, you (or an agent acting on your behalf) must submit an ERS return every year for each of your schemes, including one-off awards or gifts of shares.

The tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April the following year. You then have until midnight on 6 July to submit your annual return. If you do not, you or your employees may lose any tax advantages from the scheme.

You need to submit an ERS return (or nil return) even if:

  • there have been no transactions
  • you have appealed a late filing penalty
  • the scheme has been registered in error or there is a duplicate scheme
  • you did not get a reminder from HMRC

If you have nothing to report, you must submit a nil return by going to; no special software is required.

You will need the Government Gateway user ID and password you used when you told HMRC about the scheme.Employers, or agents acting on their behalf, can use this service to:

  • check files for formatting errors
  • submit annual ERS returns and/or nil returns after the tax year end

Usually when submitting your return, you will be required to complete and upload the relevant template to notify HMRC of any movements in your scheme during the tax year. If you are submitting a nil return only, no file attachments are required; you simply need to follow the on-screen instructions and enter some basic company information to submit your nil return.

If you have any questions regarding share options or you need help submitting your returns please contact any of the team at Bruce Wallace – you will find all our contact details on our website

Martha Bruce

Susan Wallace

Chloe Higgins

Adrienne Graham

Anne-Marie Palmer

Registered office:
118 Pall Mall

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Company registered in England and Wales number 8254957

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