Shares for employees
31 March 2024 is the share-reporting deadline in respect of 2023 reportable events. Read more on this page.
Shares offer a way to reward your employees in addition to their basic pay. The shares can be awarded by either a formal scheme with a written set of rules or under an informal once-off basis.
There are many different types of employee share schemes. They can be Revenue approved or unapproved.
You do not need Revenue approval to operate an unapproved scheme. Examples of unapproved schemes include the following:
Revenue approved schemes
There are three types of Revenue approved share schemes:
You need Revenue approval to operate any of these schemes.
Income Tax is chargeable on shares, or share options, acquired by employees free of charge or at a discount price. Share-based remuneration is also liable to Universal Social Charge (USC) and employee Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI).
Employees may also acquire shares, or share options, under any one of the tax efficient employee share schemes. Subject to certain conditions being satisfied, Income Tax will not be chargeable on shares, or share options, acquired by employees under these schemes.
Employer PRSI does not apply to share-based remuneration if the shares are in the employer company or a company that controls that company. The employer’s PRSI exemption does not apply to cash-settled awards or any cash payment that follows the value of shares.
There are several year-end reporting obligations for employers who operate share schemes for their employees. In certain circumstances, trustees have a filing obligation.
For further information, please see Share reporting obligations.
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