What is an ESOP?

An Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP) allows employees, who qualify, to purchase shares in their employer’s company, with or without the monetary assistance from the company.

Employees can acquire shares, and ownership through an ESOP that can range from 1% to 100%. An excellent method for small business owners wishing to retire and sell their business.

The key aspect is that employees have an ownership stake in the company they work for, and share in the risks and rewards that accrue to it.

Currently, there are four types of ESOPs in Canada:
1) ESOPs started by employers to reward employees for their effort in making the company successful.
2) ESOPs started by public companies to reward key employees for their efforts, then expanded to all employers through matching share purchase programs.
3) ESOPs started due to financial crisis, utilizing provincial ESOP legislation. A relatively recent development, these are used mainly to save jobs.
4) ESOPs started by employers and/or employees utilizing current tax laws and provincial legislation – some are for companies in crisis as well as healthy companies.

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Author: Warren Orlans

Welcome to inTAXicating. My name is Warren Orlans and this is my blog. I have been writing this blog since 2008 to provide clarity around taxation issues which I feel should have been explained somewhere - preferably by the CRA. I have over 20-year's experience in the taxation industry, 11 of them working for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and 5-years working in the private sector Managing the tax departments for large financial institutions. It was at that point when I realized that people were coming to my blog seeking advice, and asking me to assist them with their tax issues, so I opened up my own business and started helping people deal with issues relating to the CRA. My tax career began pretty much out of university at the CRA, in Collections, where I moved up, across, over and up again through their division with stops in Enforcement, Taxpayer Relief (then Fairness), Audit, Directors Liability, Training, Mentoring, GST, GST/HST, Payroll, Corporate Tax, Personal tax, and probably much more. If you have a collections, compliance or audit issue with the CRA, inTAXicating is the place you need to contact. inTAXicating works in strategic partnership with amazing tax lawyers, insolvency practitioners, mortgage brokers, debt counselling experts and much more. If you have a tax question, feel free to ask in the comments, or email me at either info@intaxicating.ca, or intaxicatingtaxservices@gmail.com.

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