Guidance

Report chargeable event gains for life insurance policies

How to report chargeable event gains on life insurance policies, including details on the annual qualifying policy if you're an insurer.

The 2 formats for reporting are:

  • Electronic Flat Text File specification (previously called magnetic media specifications) - for UK insurers only
  • HMRC chargeable events spreadsheet

Electronic Flat Text File specification

There are technical specifications that must be met when reporting gains as a text file.

This creates a flat text file (CSV files are not acceptable), which can be submitted by either:

HMRC chargeable events spreadsheet

You can submit your return of information using one the following HMRC spreadsheet templates to report events for single and multiple policyholders.

The spreadsheets contain conditional formatting which detects if certain specification requirements have not been met.

To highlight detected errors the cells on rows 1 and 2 for the columns containing errors will turn red and remain so until the errors have been corrected.

Do not submit a spreadsheet with a red highlighted cell in rows 1 or 2. You must correct the errors before submitting your return to HMRC.

Note that the spreadsheet validations cannot entirely check the accuracy or suitability of the data and the return may still fail when processed by HMRC. Therefore you must make sure your return of information meets the required specifications.

UK insurers only

HMRC chargeable events spreadsheet for UK insurers only

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email different.format@hmrc.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Non-UK insurers

You will need a unique reference number from the Centre for National Information before you report chargeable event information to HMRC. To get a unique reference number, send an email to cni.enquiries@hmrc.gov.uk with the following details:

  • company name
  • company address
  • contact name
  • contact telephone number
  • contact email address

HMRC chargeable event spreadsheet for non-UK insurers

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email different.format@hmrc.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Paper certificates

If you are unable to report chargeable event gains on either the Electronic Flat Text File specification or HMRC chargeable events spreadsheet, email: cni.enquiries@hmrc.gov.uk to discuss reporting using a paper certificate.

Qualifying policy information

Download and use the spreadsheet to report information on policies with one or more beneficiaries and email it to: tpi.a@hmrc.gov.uk

Send HMRC qualifying policy information on a spreadsheet

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email different.format@hmrc.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Where to send your returns

The chargeable event and qualifying policy spreadsheets can be submitted:

Returns on media should be sent to:

HMRC
Centre for National Information
Ty Glas Road
Llanishen
Cardiff
CF14 5ZG

HMRC strongly recommends that returns are suitably packaged and sent securely by means that record delivery or can be tracked in the case of delivery failure. Label your return with your reference number and quote the number in a covering letter.

Enquiries

Insurance companies (only)

Email: tpi.a@hmrc.gov.uk for queries regarding the submission of your return such as:

  • checking if a return has been received
  • to update contact details

Email: cni.enquiries@hmrc.gov.uk to request:

  • submission guidance
  • a new sub number or closure of an existing sub number
  • other return queries

Policy holders

For queries about the content of a certificate you should contact your insurance company.

Contact the HMRC Income Tax Helpline for queries about the tax implications of a certificate.

Chargeable events: penalties following audits and voluntary disclosures under section 98 Taxes Management Act 1970

Read the guidance below for help on chargeable event penalties after audits and voluntary disclosures.

Published 1 April 2014
Last updated 19 February 2020 + show all updates
  1. HMRC chargeable events spreadsheet section updated. HMRC is no longer accepting .xls files.

  2. Updated spreadsheets have been added for HMRC UK and non-UK chargeable events.

  3. Updated spreadsheets have been added for HMRC UK and non-UK chargeable events and qualifying policy information.

  4. A new HMRC chargeable events section and spreadsheet for non-UK insurers has been added to the page. This spreadsheet is capable of accepting 1,048,576 rows of information.

  5. Chargeable events and the qualifying policy information spreadsheet have been replaced and details of how to use the spreadsheets updated.

  6. A new HMRC chargeable events spreadsheet has been added to the page. This spreadsheet is capable of accepting 1,048,576 rows of information.

  7. The email address for submitting Electronic Flat Text Files has been added to the guidance. A new version of the 'Chargeable events: penalties following audits & voluntary disclosures' PDF has also been added.

  8. Updated spreadsheets have been added for HMRC chargeable events and qualifying policy information.

  9. Contact details have been updated and outdated terminology removed.

  10. Qualifying policy information new and updated spreadsheet attached.

  11. Updated information and latest guidance.

  12. Chargeable Events – Penalties following Audits & Voluntary Disclosures document has been updated.

  13. First published.