If the option is not eligible for EMI then it is an unapproved option (unless it is a CSOP option) meaning the £90,000 gain is essentially treated like a cash bonus and is subject to
If the option is eligible for EMI then the £90,000 is taxed under Business Asset Disposal Relief (BADR) - a variation on Capital Gains Tax for business assets. The taxation for the employee works as follows:
So EMI is advantageous to employee and the company and this advantage is why getting and maintaining EMI status is smart. And it is why using a system like TechFranklin is smart because it helps ensure compliance with EMI.
Having advised lots of companies who issued options thinking they were valid for EMI, only to find out they aren't, I know this realisation is extremely unpleasant and can cause a lot of problems on a sale transaction.
In practice the tax calculation for EMI and Unapproved options are quite tricky, which is why we created our free EMI vs Unapproved tax app