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HMRC internal manual

Pensions Tax Manual

General principles: parties to a pension scheme: authorised practitioner

Glossary PTM000001

Scheme administrators can appoint a practitioner to act on their behalf in connection with the management of the pension scheme. For example, they may appoint: 

  • a third party provider of administration services
  • an accountant/auditor
  • a legal adviser, or
  • someone else.

A scheme administrator of a scheme registered via Pension Schemes Online may authorise HMRC (via Pension Schemes Online) to deal with such an appointed practitioner in connection with a particular registered pension scheme.

A scheme is classed as registered via Pension Schemes Online if:

  • the scheme was approved under either Chapter 1 or Chapter 4 Part 14 ICTA 1988 or was a relevant statutory scheme and so automatically became a registered pension scheme on 6 April 2006, or
  • an application to register the pension scheme was made before 4 June 2018, or
  • an annuity contract was notified to HMRC using Pension Schemes Online.

A registration application made on or after 4 June 2018 is made using the Managing Pension Schemes online service. A scheme administrator of a scheme registered via Managing Pension Schemes will need to use form APSS 150 to authorise HMRC to deal with their practitioner. The practitioner will need to have registered on Pension Schemes Online to obtain a practitioner ID.

Where a scheme administrator appoints an authorised practitioner:

  • HMRC will correspond with and issue information regarding that scheme to the authorised practitioner (instead of the scheme administrator), and
  • the practitioner can use Pension Schemes Online for Practitioners and will be able to view the same information for the scheme as the scheme administrator can (except for details of other authorised practitioners).

HMRC cannot discuss a scheme administrator’s tax affairs with anyone other than the scheme administrator or their authorised agent.

Further information on authorised practitioners can be found at PTM157000.