User guide

How to use OnTap.

Below is a guide on how to use OnTap. The basis on which OnTap was compiled is in the assumptions.

We thought you might also find a glossary of key terms helpful, we all use jargon and terms. In our glossary, we have set out the usual meaning for these terms and how we have used them for OnTap.

Our goal has been to create straightforward online services and databases - simple to use. We hope that you will be able to use OnTap intuitively. However, set out below are some general guidelines which we hope will be helpful.

This website is divided into 4 areas:

1.     How to use OnTap

Your choices

OnTap holds global legal and tax information relevant to a wide variety of share and cash incentive plans. It is essential that some key facts are correctly selected before you use OnTap. These main variables are:

  • the country or countries;
  • the plan type or types;
  • the report you want to see; and
  • whether or not there is a recharge. 

Once you have selected the variables and hit 'Run Report', OnTap will automatically display the relevant information.

Country: the information is country specific, so you must select the correct country or countries before accessing the data.

Plan type: OnTap holds information in relation to 8 different plan types. Although every plan is different and every plan may have its own unique features, these plan types are designed to cover the broad range of plans in common usage. Please also see the assumptions which underpin each plan type.

The plan types are:

  • Cash plan
  • Deferred Bonus plan
  • Free shares/RSUs
  • Nil-cost Options
  • Options (this includes savings-related options)
  • Restricted shares/stock
  • Share matching (co-investment) plans
  • Share purchase plans.

Recharge: for each OnTap tax report, the user can view the information on the basis that there either is, or is not, a recharge.  

We set out below details of the different OnTap reports. You will be able to print or export the material from OnTap enabling you to use it for your reports or notes. The buttons are at the top right of each page.

Traffic light ratings: at the top of each report, we have included a rating in green, amber or red to provide an at-a-glance view of whether that country is likely to raise issues. The ratings are:

  • Green: No filings or approvals required, the plan can be launched without making any securities or exchange control filings at any stage. However, there may be other important legal and tax issues to be considered such as employee consultations and translations.
  • Amber: These countries may require filings or approvals but of a fairly minor or routine nature, i.e. they can be done quite quickly and at minimal cost. There may also be some minor ways in which the plan cannot operate as designed.
  • Red: These countries require major filings or approvals. These could take some time to complete and, in some cases, can be fairly expensive. There may be some significant respects in which the plan cannot operate as designed.

If at any time you have a query or we can be of help please contact your usual contact or email us at


OnTap can show various reports:

  • Feasibility report: the feasibility report sets out summary legal and tax information in relation to the countries you have selected.
  • Legal report: the legal report covers regulatory issues, including securities laws, documentary requirements and foreign exchange rules.
  • Tax report: the tax report sets out relevant tax information, including whether withholding applies or if there are any reporting requirements.
  • Tax - payroll guide: the payroll guide is designed to show information relevant to payroll.  
  • Tax - employee notes: the employee notes are designed to be useful to individual participants in informing them of the relevant tax treatment.

Individual participants should not access this information from OnTap directly. Rather we suggest that companies should download this information and then deliver it to the individual participants as part of a wider communication and explanation about the plan.

Tax-qualified plans: this report shows those countries which have tax-qualified plans and gives overview information in relation to those plans. For some countries, the information in this report relates to tax breaks rather than tax plans specifically. OnTap tax reports assume the plan is not tax-qualified. We recommend getting specific advice if you want to rely on a tax qualified plan or tax break. If you are interested in knowing the tax treatment of tax-qualified awards, please contact us.

Special wording: this report shows any suggested special wording, including any securities law wording ('rubrics' or 'legends') for any particular country. There is great variety between companies as to the degree in which they use special wording in their offer documents. In many cases the generic wording in the offer documents should cover most of the issues required to be covered for any given country. If you wish to receive examples of generic special wording, please let us know.

2.     Your Company

This page is only accessible to a particular client. It is password protected and secure. Your data is not visible to other clients or to the public. 

On this section of OnTap, you can add or change the company branding, change your password and store your plan documents.

3.     Hub

This section holds various materials which we think will be useful to clients in managing their global share plans.

Training: we specialise in the delivery of training related to incentives on a global basis. We deliver the Tapestry Cert ESP course in employee share plans which is the only professionally recognised course in the UK in this field. We also deliver tailored training to clients on areas of interest and facilitated workshops for teams to come together to review best practice or create new plans or procedures in relation to global share plans.

In our training area, we have set out some short modules to enable new team members to be brought up to speed. Either work through each module in order, or dip into the topics of interest.

Newsletters: the Tapestry team’s unique insights into the ever-changing regulation, to keep you informed and up-to-date.

Webinars: listen to our expert lawyers’ updates on topical issues relevant to our industry.

4.     Services

Our Global Network: details of Tapestry's global network of advisers.

Our services: information on the wide range of services that Tapestry provides to help you with your share plan needs.

Helping us to help you

If you have any questions or problems when using OnTap, please do contact us and we will be glad to help. Similarly, if you have any comments or suggestions for improvement of OnTap, please do get in touch with us. In our experience it is often the people charged with implementing plans who have a practical view on issues affecting those plans and we would really appreciate and value your input.

Contact Us

If you have any queries on any of the OnTap content , PLEASE do contact us, we are here to help.