How to complete and send an annual information return, if you're a registered pension scheme administrator operating relief at source schemes.
Who must submit a return
You’ll need to complete and submit an annual return of individual information with details of each scheme member who has an individual contribution more than £0 for that tax year.
If you’re operating a relief at source scheme you must send HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) an annual return for each tax year ending 5 April.
You must do this by the following 5 July. If you don’t, you won’t receive:
- any further interim repayments until HMRC has successfully received the return
- the next annual notification of residency status report
If you submit your return HMRC will continue to treat it as outstanding if:
- the information is incomplete
- it’s in the wrong format
- it can’t be opened
HMRC will tell you if the information has been successfully received, or if you need to correct or re-submit it.
Registered pension scheme relief at source spreadsheet
You can send HMRC your return on an Excel spreadsheet that is pre-structured to the format that needs to be followed.
To help you successfully submit the information by spreadsheet we have updated it to include conditional formatting. This means that if you have entered too many characters in a cell the spreadsheet column header in row 1 will turn red and will stay red until you have removed any excess characters.
If you submit the spreadsheet to HMRC without removing the excess characters, the submission will automatically fail and the return will continue to be outstanding. You’ll need to resubmit an amended spreadsheet.
- are in Excel version 2003 (.xls)
- can accept 65,536 rows of information
- can’t convert to the later version of Excel (.xlsx)
- can’t check the accuracy or suitability of the data entered
If you need a later version of the spreadsheet please email email@example.com and tell us which spreadsheet you need.
Flat electronic text file
Files must be in ASCII/EBC/DIC. The content of files should conform with the registered pension schemes electronic flat text file specifications.
This will create a flat text file (CSV files are not acceptable) that you should submit by one of the methods detailed in your notice.
Send completed returns
You should send your return by Secure Data Exchange Service (SDES), email, or post. From April 2019 you can only submit your annual notification of residency status report using SDES.
Until April 2019 you can still send your information on electronic media by post.
If you’re sending your return by email you should send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You’re responsible for the data until HMRC has received it.
The subject of your email must contain the return type, the relief at source reference number (including sub-number) and the year of the return.
If your return is over 6MB in size you should split it into separate numbered volumes. You should email each volume separately and number the emails 1 of n, 2 of n and so on.
HMRC recommends that you password protect your data and send the password in a separate email to email@example.com.
SDES can be used to send returns from April 2018, but from April 2019 this will be the only way to send your annual information returns to HMRC.
If you’re sending your data stored on CD, DVD or USB you can post it to:
HM Revenue and Customs
Centre for National Information (CNI)
Ty Glas Road
Make sure the media is securely packaged, clearly labelled, password protected and sent using a tracked postal method.
If you require any help with the information that is required on the return, or if you have any difficulties in complying, please contact pension schemes helpline.
If you need help with your submission (or if you haven’t had confirmation from HMRC that it’s been successful) please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 03000 582413.