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Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003

Chapter 3: Convertible shares

1866.Sections 140D to 140F of ICTA (together with supplementary provisions in sections 140G and 140H) were introduced by FA 1998 and apply to shares acquired on or after 17 March 1998. The provisions are concerned with countering possible avoidance in the award of convertible shares by reason of employment. Such shares could be issued having a low value but be later converted to shares of a different class with a higher value. The emoluments charge on award of the shares would be measured by reference to the initial low value and without these provisions the uplift in value on conversion would escape taxation.

1867.The legislation imposes a charge to tax on the market value of the shares immediately after conversion as reduced by sums paid on acquisition or conversion and by any amounts already charged to tax in respect of those shares. No charge arises if all the shares of one class are converted to shares of a new single class and immediately before conversion the company was either controlled by outside shareholders or was employee-controlled.

1868.Sections 140G and 140H of ICTA contain supplementary provisions some of which apply solely to the provisions concerning convertible shares (sections 140D to 140F of ICTA), some of which apply solely to the provisions concerning conditional shares (sections 140A to 140C of ICTA) which were introduced at the same time and some which apply to both. In this Act the provisions on conditional shares appear in Chapter 2. This does mean that those supplementary provisions which apply to both types of share have been duplicated, but the overall result should be much easier to follow.

Section 435: Application of this Chapter

1869.Subsection (1) derives from section 140D(1) of ICTA and gives the basic condition that the shares must be acquired “as a director or employee” and that term is defined in section 436. The reference to interests in shares as well as shares themselves throughout the Chapter derives from section 140F(6) of ICTA. The fact that these provisions only apply to shares acquired on or after 17 March 1998 is made clear in Part 7 of Schedule 7, to which there is also a signpost in section 418(1).

1870.Subsection (2) is mainly derived from section 140D(2) of ICTA (but also parts of section 140G(6) and section 140H(5) of ICTA) and defines the meaning of “convertible”.

1871.Subsection (3) derives from section 140F(2) of ICTA.

1872.Subsection (4) is new and sets out a number of useful labels which make for less cumbersome drafting. The fact that this Chapter applies to prospective and former directors and employees is made clear by the reference to the extended definition in section 446(1).

Section 436: Shares acquired “as a director or employee”

1873.This section derives from subsections (1), (2), (4) and (7) of section 140H of ICTA. It expands on what is meant by shares (or an interest in shares) acquired by a person “as a director or employee”.

Section 437: Cases where this Chapter does not apply

1874.This derives from section 140H(3) of ICTA. It limits the application of this Chapter to cases where the earnings from the employment are within section 15 or 21 and reproduces the restriction in the source legislation to Case I employments.

Section 438: Charge on conversion of shares

1875.This is the charging provision for this Chapter. It derives from section 140D(3) and (4) of ICTA and imposes a charge when the shares are converted to shares of a different class.

Section 439: Amount of charge

1876.This section concerns the calculation of the taxable charge under section 438. It derives from section 140D(5) and (6) of ICTA. A formula has been introduced to make the provisions more user-friendly. As with section 428 the approach now adopted is to specify precisely what deductions are allowable in respect of amounts chargeable in respect of the acquisition of the interest. The three charges that are relevant are detailed in paragraphs (c), (d) and (e) of subsection (2). See Note 45 in Annex 2.

1877.Subsection (3) provides that charges under the provisions derived from sections 78 and 79 of FA 1988 are deductible. It derives from section 140D(6)(d) of ICTA. In contrast to section 428, there is no need to refer to “a different event” here since the conversion itself does not give rise to a charge under the FA 1988 provisions.

1878.Subsection (5) gives the meaning of “market value”, the definition of which is not found in ICTA until section 140F(3).

1879.Subsection (6) derives from the definition of “taxable conversion” in section 140D(7) of ICTA.

1880.Subsection (7) is new. It meets the point that there should be no reason why a charge arising at the end of the seven-year period in section 79 of FA 1988 should not be a deductible amount. This is a minor change to the law. See Change 112 in Annex 1.

Section 440: Case outside charge under section 438: conversion of entire class

1881.In ICTA the main exemption from the charge on conversion is tucked away in subsections (8) and (9) of section 140D with related definitions in section 140F. The exemption is now in a separate section and the definitions are in subsections (4) and (5).

Section 441: Case outside charge under section 438: acquisition of conditional interest

1882.This section provides that no charge arises under this Chapter if the new shares are within the scope of Chapter 2. This ensures that where a conditional interest in shares is acquired on the conversion of other shares and under section 426 of the Act there is no charge in respect of the acquisition of the interest, there will not be a charge under this Chapter in respect of the conversion of the other shares. The section derives from section 140D(10) of ICTA.

Section 442: Amount or value of consideration given for shares or conversion

1883.This section derives from section 140E(1) to (6) of ICTA. Section 140E(7) has been taken to a separate section. It determines, for the purposes of section 439, the amount allowable as the cost of the shares or the cost of conversion.

Section 443: Amount or value of consideration given for right to acquire shares

1884.This section derives from section 140E(7) of ICTA which is concerned with calculating the allowable cost where an original option has been exchanged for a replacement option. That section simply refers to the workings of section 136 of ICTA which are not easy to follow. In order to assist readers, this section sets out what the allowable cost is and the wording follows section 485 which derives from section 136 of ICTA. See Change 125 in Annex 1.

Section 444: Conversion in consequence of employee’s death

1885.This section derives from section 140F(1) of ICTA which deems certain conversions within 12 months of death to have occurred immediately before death.

Section 445: Duty to notify conversions of shares

1886.This section derives from those parts of section 140G of ICTA concerning the information requirements when shares are converted and may result in a charge under this Chapter. The time limit for providing information has been extended from 30 to 92 days after the tax year in which the conversion takes place and expressed differently. See Change 111 in Annex 1.

Section 446: Minor definitions

1887.This section brings together the definitions in section 140H of ICTA and elsewhere in the source legislation and adds some new labels for expressions used in section 435. In the definition of “terms” the word “include” in section 140H(6) of ICTA has been replaced by “means” to make better sense of the additional words “or in any other way”.

1888.The definition of shares (which comes from section 136(5)(d) of ICTA, as applied with modifications by section 140H(8) of ICTA) includes stock “in so far as the context permits”. This rider has been omitted as unnecessary since there does not appear to be anywhere in this Chapter where the context would not so permit.

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