PracticeConsultingDeadline extended for switch to all-employee share scheme

Deadline extended for switch to all-employee share scheme

The Treasury has granted an extension to the deadline for wrapping up old share-based profit-sharing schemes and switching to the government's new all-employee share option scheme.

Financial secretary Stephen Timms agreed to Tory calls for existing schemes to be phased out by 1 January 2003 instead of 5 April 2002 to enable them to make the change at the end of their financial years.

The concession came during Finance Bill Committee debates in which he rejected several Tory attempts to widen the scheme, including an apparent attempt to scrap Stamp Duty on share deals below £5,000 proposed by shadow chief secretary and accountant MP David Heathcoat-Amory.

He said the Tories backed the scheme – but accused the government of failing to make changes in the tax structure that would make it more of a success.

Timms said the government were already proposing a scheme which made share ownership more accessible to employees than ever.

He also rejected a Tory bid to extend tax concessions under the new scheme to employees of UK firms working overseas.

The minister said the government wanted to allow the possibility of the scheme operating globally but could not extend relief to those not paying UK tax.

10 NOVEMBER 1999 ALL EMPLOYEE SHARE SCHEME ANNOUNCED

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