e-filing for annual share option reporting by employers

Have your Irish employees been granted or exercised share options during 2014? If so, you need to be aware of a new electronic filing system that Irish Revenue has introduced for tax year 2014 onwards.

Companies are obliged to provide information to Revenue in relation to the grant, assignment or release of rights or the allotment of shares, or the transfer of any asset under rights granted in accordance with Section 128(11) Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. Currently this information is provided on the Form RSS1 and filed by 31 March after the end of the relevant tax year.

Following the enactment of the Finance Act 2014 such information must be delivered in an electronic format approved by the Revenue Commissioners, not later than the 31 March in the year of assessment following the year in which any such event takes place.

On 4 February 2015, Revenue launched its new electronic version of the Form RSS1 to facilitate this development. The electronic version of Form RSS1 is in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format, tailored to capture the Form RSS1 information, and is designed to make it easier and quicker to complete and submit the Form. It is available on the Revenue website at the following link: http://www.revenue.ie/en/practitioner/ebrief/2015/no-222015.html and companies need to be registered* for Revenue's online filing system (ROS) in order to upload the completed form.

Form RSS1 is only used to report share options or other rights that are exercised at the discretion of the employee; other share based remuneration such as restricted shares or conditional rights that automatically deliver shares at a given time/event (such as Restricted Stock Units) are dealt with via normal payroll reporting and taxed via the PAYE withholding system, and do not need to be included on Form RSS1. In addition Irish Revenue approved Save As You Earn (SAYE) and Approved Profit Sharing Schemes (APSS) have their own reporting forms which at present will continue to be filed in paper form.

If you have any queries about this new development, or any other share-based remuneration queries, please contact Keavy Ryan or Rosaleen Boyle, or your usual A&L Goodbody contact.

*Many Irish employers will already be registered but if you are not you will need to follow the instructions in the explanatory notes section of the electronic Form RSS1.

Date published: 5 February 2015