Share Scheme reporting SSR

Share Scheme Reporting 2024 | Deadline March 31st

Employee share schemes stand as invaluable tools for employers in Ireland, offering a means to reward and incentivize their workforce beyond conventional compensation structures. It’s crucial to grasp the intricacies of share scheme reporting, understanding its significance in the realm of payroll management and compliance.


Understanding Share Scheme Reporting

In Ireland, share schemes encompass a diverse array of options, ranging from unapproved schemes like share awards and options to Revenue-approved schemes such as Approved Profit-Sharing Schemes (APSSs), Employee Share Ownership Trusts (ESOTs), and the Save As You Earn (SAYE) schemes. Each scheme type carries its own set of tax implications and reporting requirements, necessitating a nuanced understanding for effective implementation.


Taxation and Reporting Obligations

Taxation on share-based remuneration is multifaceted, encompassing Income Tax, Universal Social Charge (USC), and employee Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI). Employers must meticulously adhere to reporting obligations, filing annual returns and maintaining compliance with Revenue guidelines to avoid penalties and ensure scheme viability.

Unapproved Share Options

Employers are now mandated to operate PAYE on gains realized from share options exercised, assigned, or released post-January 1, 2024. Understanding the nuances of taxation pre- and post-2024 is imperative to mitigate compliance risks and optimize tax efficiency for both employers and employees.

Key Employee Engagement Programme (KEEP)

KEEP presents an attractive option for SMEs, offering tax-efficient share options to employees without requiring Revenue approval. Comprehending the eligibility criteria and operational intricacies of KEEP can empower SMEs to leverage this scheme effectively as a tool for talent retention and motivation.

Approved Profit-Sharing Schemes (APSS) and ESOTs

APSS and ESOTs provide avenues for fostering employee ownership and engagement within organizations. Navigating the approval process and ensuring compliance with trust establishment requirements are vital steps in harnessing the benefits of these schemes while mitigating regulatory risks.

Save As You Earn (SAYE) Schemes:

SAYE schemes offer employees a structured pathway to acquire shares through savings mechanisms, providing a tax-efficient means of participation in company ownership. Employers must grasp the intricacies of SAYE operation and reporting to maximize its benefits for both employees and the organization.


Importance to Employers in Ireland

For employers in Ireland, adept management of share schemes is integral to fostering a culture of ownership, incentivizing performance, and retaining top talent. Furthermore, compliance with regulatory requirements ensures operational efficiency and minimizes legal exposure, safeguarding the organization’s reputation and financial stability.

In conclusion, mastering share scheme reporting is not merely a regulatory obligation but a strategic imperative for employers in Ireland. By embracing best practices and leveraging the full spectrum of share scheme options, organizations can unlock a myriad of benefits, driving sustainable growth and competitive advantage in today’s dynamic business landscape.

Additional Notes

Many of the other updates mentioned above are unlikely to impact employers operating share schemes. The confirmation that employer reporting of RSU grant information remains optional on Form ESA will be well-received by employers.

Reminder: Submission Deadlines

The following returns must be submitted by the March 31, 2024, deadline:

Form Name Plan Type
ESA Restricted Stock Units (RSUs), Performance Share Plans (PSPs), Restricted Shares, Forfeitable Shares, Convertible Securities, Discounted Share Awards and any other award with a cash payment equivalent to shares (i.e. cash settled plans).
RSS1 Share options and other rights
KEEP1 KEEP options
ESS1 Approved profit share schemes (APSS)
SRSO1 Save As You Earn (SAYE)
ESOT Employee Share Ownership Trust

Failure to comply with reporting obligations may result in Revenue withdrawing approval of a share scheme. Additionally, trusts must file a Form 1 as a declaration of trust income and capital gains.

Companies should review the share plans in operation and determine the appropriate return to be filed with Revenue. For assistance in this matter, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at or use the form below to request a call.

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