Employment related shares

Unapproved share schemes: free shares and discounted shares

Free shares

Your employer may give you free shares under a formal share plan or as a once off award. These shares are a benefit-in-kind (BIK). The value of the benefit is the market value of the shares at the date of the award.

The shares may be subject to a vesting period. If so the value of the benefit is the market value of the shares at the date of vesting.

You must pay Income Tax (IT), Universal Social Charge (USC) and Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) on the value. All deductions are made through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system. 

Discounted shares

Your employer may give you the opportunity to buy shares in the company at a discounted price. The discount is the difference between the:

  • market value of the shares at the date of the award
  • amount you pay for them.

You must pay IT, USC and PRSI on the discount amount. All deductions will be made through the PAYE system.

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