By Marcus Leach

As the financial year end draws ever nearer there is a word of warning for those thinking about exercising Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) options.

Accountants at Smith & Williamson have urged people considering exercising their EMI options to stop.

"If you hold options under an EMI (Enterprise Management Incentive) scheme and are planning to exercise them before the end of this tax year you need to consider if you would benefit from waiting until after 5 April," the advice states.

"In the Budget an announcement was made of the proposal that capital gains tax entrepreneurs’ relief be available on shares acquired through an EMI scheme. Some further information has been released which confirms this intention although the details will not be known until the autumn.

"The relief will apply to shares acquired on or after 6 April 2012 which are held for at least 12 months before selling. There will not, however, be the requirement to own at least 5% of the company to qualify for the relief. This is excellent news which could have a significant positive implication for you if you wait until at least 6 April before exercising your options.

"It would be wise to seek advice before taking any action."

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