On Friday 26 February 2010, the QCA held a Breakfast Briefing for quoted company directors on what they should consider in light of the income tax and NIC changes to ensure that they continue to effectively incentivise management.
Hosted by Deloitte at the Deloitte Academy, around 30 company directors attended this event to hear from industry professionals on what the tax, legal and corporate governance issues are arising from these changes, and discuss with each other what they are, or are not, considering doing before the changes come in on 6 April.
Vijay Thakrar, Partner at Deloitte and QCA Tax Committee member, welcomed guests and outlined the tax environment that is approaching. The first speaker was Juliet Halfhead, a Director at Deloitte, who discussed the tax changes in detail and the pros/cons of the options for consideration before April and onwards. These included income acceleration, salary/bonus sacrifice, equity planning and pension alternatives. Nicholas Stretch, Partner at CMS Cameron McKenna and Chairman of the QCA Share Schemes Committee, explained the various legal issues that surround accelerating employee remuneration. Finally, Jared Cranney, company secretary of ISG plc and QCA Share Schemes Committee member, discussed what his company was considering and the issues it encountered.
Company directors then had a Q&A session, where it was clear that many were concerned about the tax changes. But, directors noted that there were many issues that needed to be considered with taking action, such as year-ends, the period of assessment and impact on the employee base and shareholders.