EU green light for SME shares scheme

'Keep' plan is aimed at helping SMEs attract key staff, but details have attracted criticism from some start-ups and investors

19th December, 2017
Bid to help SMEs give employees slice of company receives green light. Pic: Getty

The European Commission has approved a scheme announced in Budget 2018 aimed at helping small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to hire and retain key staff.

Under the plan, SME employees will be relieved from paying income tax and social contributions when exercising their share options. The scheme will run for six years.

Under the current rules, employees with share options can be hit with large tax bills, with income tax often due on the discount received...

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