Find out about returns of information for ISA managers

Use this guidance to find out what you need to provide and how to make a return of information.

The requirement to make a return

Managers are required to make a return of information to HMRC within 60 days of either of the following reporting dates:

  • 5 April of each year (returns will therefore need to be made by 4 June)

  • the date of ceasing to qualify, or act, as a manager

At the end of February of the tax year in which the return is due, HMRC will send managers a reminder of their obligations to make a return for that tax year.

What period must be covered

The information required is the later of the period from the:

  • the date the manager began to manage Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)
  • the last reporting date

What must be returned

We do not anticipate that reporting in respect of Lifetime ISAs will be required as part of the annual information return (ISAComm100(OCS)).

While a report of information will be required, relating to Lifetime ISAs, we expect this will be in a digital format within the operation of the Lifetime ISA Application Programming Interface (API).

Updates to the API technical specification to take into account the requirements for end of tax year 2017 to 2018 bonus claims or returns.

The tax year 2018 to 2019 requirements were issued in Autumn 2017.

The current technical specification for the tax year 2017 to 2018 has been issued for the Lifetime ISA, the latest version of which is available on the developer hub.

Claims for bonuses in-year during the tax year 2017 to 2018 will be limited to terminal illness and death. Such claims will be made through the API for the relevant claim period (6th to 5th of each month).

For the tax year 2017 to 2018 only all other bonus claims are required to be submitted on an annual basis no later than 14 days following the end of the tax year. Further information on the claim or return for the tax year 2017 to 2018 can be found at Lifetime ISA Reporting.

From the tax year 2018 to 2019, in respect of Lifetime ISAs, the report will be required monthly and will cover the monthly periods from 6th of one month to the 5th of the next calendar month.

More information on the content of this report will be provided at a later date but some additional detail may be found within the guidance on Lifetime ISAs.

Managers must report details for all ISAs (and Junior ISAs) they managed during the return period, including ISAs transferred in, and ISAs that have been closed.

But they should exclude details of ISAs transferred out in full, made void, or not proceeded with or cancelled within 30 days of opening in the return period.

Where an investor holds more than one ISA with the same manager (for example, a cash ISA and a stocks and shares ISA), managers must report details of each ISA separately.

For each ‘continuing account of a deceased investor’ for the period ending 5 April 2019 managers must report the:

  • name and address of the deceased investor

  • date of birth of the deceased investor

  • National Insurance number of the deceased investor

How to make returns of Information

Returns of information can be submitted on either:

Returns must conform to the specification and format described in this document. Any return that does not conform to this specification may be rejected and, in which case the manager may be regarded as either having failed to make a return or as having made an incorrect return.

Returns for 2016 and earlier years must be submitted using the previous specifications.

If you need to submit a ISAComm100(OCS) ‘ISA annual return of information’ for an earlier tax year you should email: stating the year and whether you require a copy of the text specifications or spreadsheet (or both).

HMRC Spreadsheet

Instead of creating a flat text file in accordance with the ISA Electronic Flat Text File specification managers may make a return on the HMRC spreadsheet.

The spreadsheet:

  • is in Excel version 2003 (.xls) and cannot be converted to later versions of Excel (xlsx

  • can accept 65,536 rows of information

  • cannot convert to the later version of Excel (.xlsx)

  • does not check the accuracy or suitability of the data entered

To use the spreadsheet:

  • click on the link above to open the spreadsheet template

  • save the spreadsheet template to your computer

  • complete the spreadsheet following the guidance in the yellow comments boxes in the spreadsheet

Spreadsheet failures

The most common cause of spreadsheet failure has been the inclusion of excessive characters (including spaces).

The spreadsheet contains conditional formatting to check for simple errors such as excessive characters.

If a simple error is detected in a column the cell on row one will turn red and tell you the number of errors found in the column and the position of the first error. As errors are corrected this information will update.

Spreadsheets received with a red cell on row one will fail to process and the manager may be regarded as either having failed to make a return or as having made an incorrect return.

If you require a later version of the spreadsheet email: advising which spreadsheet you need.

Submission of returns

Details of how to submit your return will be contained in the notice we issued to you.

HMRC no longer issue labels or submission documents with the notice. Please ensure that any return on physical media is suitably labelled to identify the source of the data.

If you need a submission document to include with a submission on media a generic submission document can be downloaded from here.

You can email: for simple enquiries such as:

  • has my return been received
  • has my return passed or failed
  • changing contact details

To request an additional sub number, closure of an existing sub number or for questions about submitting your return please email:

ISA managers who fail to submit their returns of information by 4 June may be charged a penalty. No claims for payment will be processed until the return is submitted (see basis of annual return and tax claims).


Penalties may be charged on managers under Schedule 23 FA 2011.

Published 5 April 2018
Last updated 24 May 2018 + show all updates
  1. Sections under headings 'How to make returns of Information', 'HMRC Spreadsheet' and 'Submission of returns' have been updated. The 'Permitted media' section has been removed.
  2. First published.