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Exactly what shares count as ‘employment-related securities’?

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Determining whether shares are held as employment-related securities (ERS) is not straightforward. Shares acquired otherwise than by reason of an employment or directorship may nevertheless be ERS if the individual is, was, or is to be a director or employee if the right or opportunity to acquire them was made available by the company concerned unless it was made available by an individual in the normal course of domestic, family or personal relationships. HMRC often regards so-called ‘founders’ shares’ as ERS. The broad statutory definition of ERS means that an adviser should always enquire into the circumstances in which, and from whom, such shares were acquired.

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