Stock Plans in United Kingdom
(Updated as of August 2023)
The U.K. has one of the most sophisticated tax regimes for stock plans in the world. Companies that offer stock awards to employees in the U.K. should register their plans with the U.K. tax authority (HMRC) and complete annual filings.
Companies also need to understand their payroll compliance obligations for stock compensation, which can differ between public and private companies. HMRC routinely audits companies for payroll compliance with a focus on mobile employees’ stock awards.
There are many tax savings opportunities as the U.K. offers several tax-favorable stock plans as well as the ability to pass the employer’s social taxes to the employee. The U.K. is also one of very few countries that allows a deduction from corporate taxable income for the stock compensation recognized by employees without a recharge (certain conditions apply).