The news that tax relief on EMI (Enterprise Management Incentive) share options has been abruptly terminated from 7 April 2018 owing to the failure of the UK to gain EU State Aid Approval of the EMI scheme with Brussels is as shambolic as it is a disaster for businesses. EMI share options are a great way for dynamic SMEs to grow their business by empowering their staff. For it to come to an abrupt halt this past weekend is incomprehensible.

The Government has issued a guidance note telling firms to stop issuing EMI share options with immediate effect pending EU State Aid Approval with Brussels.

This is wholly inadequate. I suggest the Government needs to rush out a statement today confirming that the existing EMI tax relief will be maintained for at least two years. This will be effected either by Brussels and the UK getting their paperwork sorted out or by primary legislations in the Budget in the autumn.

We are where we are with this mess but the Government will now be judged on how it responds. This does not bode well for our ability to leave the EU next March!

Do get in touch if this is of concern to your business.