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)
- 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
The spreadsheet is in a format that you must follow. You should use the spreadsheet to report events for single and multiple policyholders.
Make sure you’re using the latest published version.
The spreadsheet has conditional formatting that detects if more than the allowable number of characters are entered in a cell. If you enter more than the allowable number of characters, the cell on row 1 will turn red and will stay red until all the excess characters have been removed.
Do not submit a spreadsheet with a red cell in row 1. You must correct the errors before submitting your return to HMRC.
The spreadsheets are Excel version 2003 (.xls), capable of accepting 65,536 rows. They will not convert to the later version of Excel (.xlsx), capable of holding more than a million rows.
If you are unable to report chargeable event gains on either the Electronic Flat Text File specification or HMRC chargeable event spreadsheet, please email email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to send your returns
The chargeable event and qualifying policy spreadsheets can be submitted by SDES or on approved media such as CD.
Returns on media should be sent to:
Centre for National Information
Ty Glas Road
HMRC strongly recommends that returns are suitably packaged and are 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.
Insurance companies (only)
Email: email@example.com for queries regarding the submission of your return such as:
- checking if a return has been received
- to update contact details
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to request:
- submission guidance
- a new sub number or closure of an existing sub number
- other return queries
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.