EMI Option Scheme - what to do once the options have been granted!
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How to file an Annual Return for your Option Scheme

Once you've prepared your Annual Return, here's how you can submit it to HMRC.

If you're not ready to submit the Annual Return yet or not sure what you need to submit, have a look at this guide first.

Annual Return Submission Overview 

Step 1: Log into your HMRC PAYE Portal 

Step 2: Locate the Annual Return submission page 

Step 3: Complete the Annual Return submission, which consists of 3 questions:  

  1. 'Have any options been adjusted, replaced, released, lapsed, cancelled or exercised during the tax year?'
  2. Employer company details?
  3. 'Are there any qualifying subsidiary companies?'

Step 1: Log in to your HMRC portal page and sign in to your PAYE account. 

Step 2: Locate the Annual Return submission page 

  • Once you log in, on the righthand side you'll see a list of services. Towards the bottom of the list you'll find 'Employer Related Securities' - click that. 
  • Then click 'View schemes and arrangements'

  • You should see a list of schemes you have registered with HMRC in green, hyperlinked.  Select the scheme you are making an Annual Return filing for. 
  • Then on the main page select 'End of year returns'
  • Now you should see a list of all the tax years you submitted an Annual Return for in the past. To submit an Annual Return, click the 'Submit annual return' link next to the relevant tax year in the table. 

Step 3: Start the annual return through the given workflow

You will see a page like this: 

  • Click 'Start now

Form questions

Step 4: Has reportable activity taken place this tax year? 

  • If no activity has taken place in this tax year, you will be filing a Nil returnComplete step 4a  only, skip step 4b. 
  • If activity has taken place, you will be submitting a spreadsheet reporting the activities. Complete step 4b, skip step 4a.

Step 4a: Filing Nil return

  • Select 'No (nil return)' and then 'continue

  • From here, skip to step 5 below. 

Step 4b: Filing spreadsheet with reportable events 

Before you start the submission, double check where your Annual Return spreadsheet is located on your computer and that it's named something easily recognisable for the scheme and tax year. You'll need to select it and upload it at the next step. 

  • Select 'Yes' and then click 'continue' 

  • From here you can upload your Annual Return spreadsheet. Select 'OpenDocument Spreadsheet (.ods) and press 'continue'

  • Select 'choose file' - you'll see a pop-up to chose a file from your device.
  • Once you see the file name in the textbox appear on the submission page, select 'upload' and then 'continue'.

Step 5: Add employer details

  • Add employer company details and select 'continue'

Step 6: Add subsidiary companies 

  • If there are any qualifying subsidiary companies under the company you are completing the return for, you must declare it here and provide the subsidiary company's details.  If there are none, select 'no' and 'continue'. 
  • If there are more than one subsidiary companies, you can add others here as well. 

Step 7: Review and submit 

  • You will see a summary overview page of the details you have provided in the form. If you need to correct anything, now's the time to go back to the relevant page to revise the information.
  • If everything is finalised, you can click 'Accept and submit'. 

Tip: Make sure to take a screenshot of the review & confirm page and confirmation page after you submit.  It's also helpful to download the confirmation PDF for your filings! You should do this for each Annual Return you file.


And you're done! Congratulations on submitting your Annual Return.