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Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003

Section 544: Exemption: different offers made to public and employees

2199.This section is concerned with cases where there are separate offers to the public and employees. Subsection (1) derives mainly from section 68(1ZA) of FA 1988 and introduces the basic conditions for the exemption. The exemption itself is found in subsection (2) and is from liability to income tax as earnings. It follows that the exemption does not apply to a benefit received in connection with a change or termination within Chapter 3 of Part 6 of this Act which derives from section 148 of ICTA.

2200.Subsections (3) to (6) derive from sections 68(1ZB), (2), (2A), (2B) and (2C) of FA 1988 and give the detailed conditions which must be satisfied for the exemption to apply. Subsection (3) requires the case of each company whose shares are subject to the employee offer to be considered. In the FA 1988 provisions, the fiction that the public offer and the employee offer are a single offer means that, reading subsections 68(2)(a) and 68(2C) together, a company whose shares are only subject to the public offer also has to be considered. In such a case, the limit on the number of shares allocated to employees, imposed by section 68(2)(a), will never be exceeded. These companies are not therefore mentioned. See Note 52 in Annex 2.

2201.Subsection (7) introduces section 545 which excludes certain discounts from the exemption in this section.

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