Sending a relief at source annual information return

Find out how to complete and send a relief at source annual information return if you are a pension scheme administrator.

You’ll need to complete and submit an annual return of information. It must include details of each scheme member who has an individual contribution more than £0 for that tax year.

When you must send your return

If you’re operating a relief at source scheme you must send HMRC an annual return for each tax year ending 5 April.

You must do this by the following 5 July. If you do not, you will not receive:

If you submit your return HMRC will continue to treat it as outstanding if:

  • the information is incomplete - this includes if you have not submitted the declaration
  • it’s in the wrong format
  • it cannot be opened

HMRC will tell you if the information has been successfully received, or if you need to correct or re-submit it.

Formats you can use to send a return

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 submit the information successfully using the spreadsheet, we’ve included conditional formatting. This means that if you’ve entered too many characters in a cell, the spreadsheet column header in rows 1 and 2 will:

  • turn red
  • stay red until you have corrected the errors

If you submit the spreadsheet to HMRC without removing the excess characters:

  • your submission will automatically fail and the return will continue to be outstanding
  • you’ll need to resubmit an amended spreadsheet

The spreadsheets:

  • are in Excel version 2010 (.xlsx)
  • can accept 1,048,576 rows of information
  • have conditional formatting that detects if the specification requirements have not been met
  • cannot check the accuracy or suitability of the data entered and the return may still fail when HMRC process this

Flat electronic text file

You can send HMRC your return as an electronic flat text file. This must be in ASCII. The content of files should conform with HMRC’s registered pension schemes electronic flat text file specifications.

This will create a flat text file. CSV files are not acceptable.

How to send your return

You must send your annual return of information by Secure Data Exchange Service (SDES).

Contact the pension schemes helpline if you:

  • need help with the information required on the return
  • you have any difficulties in complying

If you need help with your submission, or you’ve not had confirmation from HMRC that it’s been successful) contact or telephone 03000 582 413.

Published 27 August 2013
Last updated 6 April 2020 + show all updates
  1. We have updated file formats you can use to send your information return.

  2. Information about the registered pension scheme relief at source spreadsheet has been updated.

  3. The page has been updated with information about the different ways you can submit an annual return of information from 6 April 2019.

  4. References to paper return RPSCOM100(Z) removed as the annual return of information can only be submitted electronically from April 2018.

  5. How to send an annual information return has been updated as Secure Data Exchange Service is replacing the Secure Electronic Transfer system. The paper form RPSCOM100(Z) can't be used for tax years from April 2018.

  6. HMRC is constantly reviewing and updating submission methods and contact details, and the most up to date information will be supplied in the notice.

  7. First published.