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Share schemes 'offer tax savings'

Figures have suggested that workers getting involved in company share schemes are set to make a total tax saving of £870 million in 2011.

The call comes from UHY Hacker Young, which said that the amount of tax saved would rise 17 per cent on last year's total of £745 million.

But the research suggests that most of the benefits from rising company share prices will likely be felt among firms' senior management rather than the majority of workers.

There has been a 10 per cent fall over the past two years in the number of firms running share schemes open to all staff - going from 1,530 in 2006/07 to 1,370.

However the same period has also seen the number of firms opening schemes to senior staff soar by a quarter, growing to 10,050 from 8,020.

Roy Maugham, partner UHY Hacker Young, said: "Despite the decline in the number of employers offering shares, rising share values and an increasing tax burden are combining to make shares much more attractive to employees.

"With National Insurance Contributions having risen by one per cent in April, and the threshold for the higher rate of income tax frozen, the potential tax saving from investing in company shares, and the cost to the Treasury, is increasing."

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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