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Govt to notify guidelines on ESOPs within a week
September, 26th 2007
After a delay of more than five months, the government is likely to notify within a week the guidelines for evaluating fringe benefit tax (FBT) on stock options given by companies to their employees.

"Finance Minister P Chidambaram has given his approval and the guidelines on ESOPs (employee stock options) will be notified in the next four-five days," official sources said.

Sources said the guidelines have been finalised and the ministry is now in the final stage of notifying them.

The guidelines will give a respite to the companies, which have been waiting for the past many months to find out the manner for calculation the liability under FBT.

Notably, Finance Ministry had to postpone earlier this month the last date for paying FBT on ESOPs to December 15, the date for paying the third instalment of advance tax. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has not so far finalised the method for determination of the fair market value.

With no guidelines on this, companies have been unable to pay the tax and so the date of paying advance FBT had been postponed. They would have to club the payment of three instalments of advance FBT in December.

The government had earlier postponed the date for paying the first instalment of FBT to September 15 from June 15.

Chidambaram had announced in this year's budget that ESOPs would now come under the FBT net. He had said the tax would have to be paid taking into account the fair market value of the stock options, for which the CBDT would come out with guidelines.
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