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HMRC internal manual

Pensions Tax Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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The scheme administrator: authorising a practitioner

Glossary PTM000001
   

 

What is an authorised practitioner
What can an authorised practitioner do on a scheme administrator’s behalf?
What actions an authorised practitioner cannot do on a scheme administrator’s behalf
How to authorise a practitioner
Cessation of scheme administrator

 

What is an authorised practitioner

A scheme administrator can appoint someone to act on their behalf (a practitioner) in relation to one or more aspects of the management of the pension scheme and authorise HMRC to deal with that practitioner via Pension Schemes Online. An authorised practitioner may be for example:

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

HMRC cannot discuss the tax affairs of a pension scheme administrator with anyone other than the scheme administrator or their authorised agent notified to HMRC.

If HMRC is authorised to deal with a practitioner, this means that:

  • the practitioner has the right to view information relating to a particular registered pension scheme on Pension Schemes for Practitioners. The practitioner will be able to view the same scheme information as the scheme administrator, except for details of other authorised practitioners,
  • the practitioner will receive information from HMRC in relation to that registered pension scheme.

HMRC will correspond in the first instance with the authorised practitioner for the scheme, instead of the scheme administrator.

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What can an authorised practitioner do on a scheme administrator’s behalf?

An authorised practitioner can carry out any, or any combination, of the following on Pension Schemes for Practitioners:

  • file an Event Report - see PTM161000,
  • amend an Event Report which has been filed,
  • file a Pension Scheme Return - see PTM163000,
  • amend a Pension Scheme Return which has been filed,
  • file an Accounting for Tax Return - see PTM162000,
  • amend an Accounting for Tax Return which has been filed,
  • amend scheme details,
  • register to operate Relief at Source (if done at a date later than registering the scheme for tax relief and exemptions),
  • amend Relief at Source details.

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What actions an authorised practitioner cannot do on a scheme administrator’s behalf

Certain functions can only be carried out by the scheme administrator and cannot be delegated. The following functions can not be delegated to an authorised practitioner:

  • submitting an application to register a pension scheme,
  • making a scheme administrator declaration required in accordance with section 270 Finance Act 2004,
  • amending scheme administrator personal details,
  • reporting the cessation as scheme administrator under - see PTM154000,
  • authorising a practitioner,
  • add yourself as scheme administrator,
  • associating a new scheme administrator to a pension scheme,
  • registering (including pre-registration) a scheme administrator for HMRC Pension Schemes for Scheme Administrators.

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How to authorise a practitioner

A scheme administrator can authorise a practitioner on Pension Schemes for Administrators, once they have successfully submitted the registration application. The Guide to using the Online Service for scheme administrators tells you how a scheme administrator can authorise a practitioner.

The person who is to be appointed as an authorised practitioner must have registered as a practitioner user of Pension Schemes Online before the scheme administrator can authorise them to act for the scheme. The Guide to using the Online Service for scheme administrators tells you how to register as a practitioner.

Once authorised, the practitioner is linked to the scheme and they will be able to view information related to that specific scheme on Pension Schemes for Practitioners. The authorised practitioner will be able to view the same scheme information as the scheme administrator, except for details of other authorised practitioners.

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Cessation of scheme administrator

An authorised practitioner will cease to have authority to act for a scheme with HMRC if the person who appointed them ceases to be a scheme administrator. To continue to be an authorised practitioner for the scheme they will have to be appointed by another person who is acting as scheme administrator for the scheme.