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HMRC internal manual

Insurance Policyholder Taxation Manual

Certificates for HMRC: prescribed format

Unlike the certificates which are to be delivered to policyholders, certificates to be sent by insurers to HMRC must report the required information in a prescribed format.

Certificates on magnetic media

Where the certificates are sent to HMRC by magnetic media, for instance on CD-ROM or tape, the standard specification of the format required is set out in the guidance ‘Magnetic Media Specification for Chargeable Event Certificates’ published on the HMRC website using the words in inverted commas as a search term.

Certificates on paper

A Microsoft Excel template giving the prescribed form for paper certificates is provided at the same website location. If using a paper form, insurers should use an original printout from the HMRC template rather than a photocopy, because the photocopying process could destroy the precise alignments necessary for successful optical character recognition. Although it is preferable to type the entries into the pre-printed form before printing it off, it is acceptable to enter details manually in ink afterwards, for instance if not all the necessary information is available when the form is printed.

Technical queries

Technical queries regarding the submission of data in the prescribed format should be referred to the relevant contact at CNI (Cardiff) - previously known as CRI and TIDO - given in the ‘Magnetic Media Specification for Chargeable Event Certificates’ guidance.

Further reference and feedback IPTM1013