A company may operate an employee share ownership plan that is not an approved profit sharing scheme. It may do this by setting up a trust to acquire and distribute shares in the company to its employees. This is known as an employee share ownership trust (ESOT).

An ESOT should be dealt with by the Trust Office linked to the founding company's tax office. The founding company tax office should arrange for a trust file to be opened in the appropriate Trust Office as soon as it becomes aware of the existence of the trust. In the case of a QUEST, ESSU will have notified the Trust Office direct.

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