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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with the following details:
- company name
- company address
- contact name
- contact telephone number
- contact email address
If you are unable to report chargeable event gains on either the Electronic Flat Text File specification or HMRC chargeable events spreadsheet, 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:
Returns on media should be sent to:
Centre for National Information
Ty Glas Road
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.
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.