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Active Practice Update: Employee share schemes

The Government encourages trading companies to offer shares in the company to its employees. These are usually given away free or offered at a discounted rate. Sometimes the employer may not provide shares immediately but provides an option that will allow the employee to acquire shares later.

In the absence of any special provisions, issuing shares to an employee at less than full market value is taxable. This remains the case where an employee is granted an option to acquire shares at a specific price in the future but the market value is higher when the option is exercised.

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