Pension trustees: Self Assessment tax returns

How to get your trustee tax return, deadlines for submission, ways to pay and claiming repayments.

Get a tax return for a pension scheme

If you’ve been asked to complete a return

If you’re a trustee of a registered pension scheme you may receive a letter soon after the end of the tax year.

If the pension scheme has previously paid tax or claimed a repayment HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will issue a letter telling you that you must complete a tax return (form SA970) for the pension scheme.

If you’ve been asked to complete a tax return you must do so even if no tax or repayment is due.

You must complete and send HMRC a paper tax return as it’s not currently possible to send the SA970 online.

If you think you need a return but HMRC hasn’t contacted you

If you haven’t been asked to complete a tax return you must complete a tax return (form SA970) if any of the following apply:

  • you have Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax to pay
  • you wish to claim a repayment of tax
  • you’ve claimed a repayment already during the tax year

Deadlines for sending in your tax return

If you’re planning to calculate the tax due yourself the deadline for sending in the return is 31 January following the end of the tax year or scheme accounting year.

If you want HMRC to work out the tax due for you and send you a tax calculation you’ll need to send the tax return back earlier - by 31 October. If you send the tax return after that date HMRC may be able to work out the tax due before the payment deadline (31 January) but can’t guarantee it so you may have to work out the tax due yourself.

Claiming repayments during the tax year

If you deal with an registered pension scheme or common investment fund that’s exempt from tax you may wish to claim a repayment of tax during the tax year. In this case you’ll need to complete form R63N ‘repayment request for registered pension schemes’.

At the end of the year you must also use your tax return to tell HMRC the total tax paid during the year, the amount of tax you’ve already claimed back using form R63N, and to claim any remaining tax repayment that may be due.

Payment deadlines

On or before 31 January the scheme must pay:

  • any tax that’s owed from the previous tax year
  • the first ‘payment on account’ (advance payment) of tax for the current tax year

There are penalties for not sending the SA970 on time even if the pension scheme has no tax to pay or has already paid the tax.

If you pay too little you will have to pay interest and possibly a late payment penalty.

Ways to pay

You can pay in any of the following ways:

  • through your bank’s internet or phone banking service
  • by debit or credit card over the internet
  • at your bank or the Post Office
  • by Direct Debit - you’ll need to register for HMRC online services
  • by posting a cheque to the HMRC Accounts Office

While you can pay your tax bill in various ways electronic methods are usually faster and are more secure.

Published 16 September 2014