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HMRC internal manual

Venture Capital Schemes Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

VCT: VCT returns: return of amounts subscribed for eligible shares: format of return

Guidance and specifications for making annual information returns

The return MUST be submitted in one of two formats specified below using one of the relevant approved methods of submission.

1. Electronic text file

Files must be in ASCII/EBC/DIC. The content of files should conform with theVCT Electronic Flat Text File specification 

This will create a flat text file (CSV files are not acceptable), which you can either submit via our Secure Electronic Transfer system or send to the Centre for National Information in Cardiff on one of the approved media formats detailed in the specifications.

2. VCT spreadsheet

VCTs can send HMRC their VCT information on an excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet can be downloaded using the link below. It is pre-structured to the required format. Please ensure that the latest published version is used.

As for electronic text file returns, the VCT spreadsheet can be submitted via our Secure Electronic Transfer system or to the Centre for National Information in Cardiff on approved media such as CD.

Secure Electronic Transfer system (‘SET’)

Information about SET can be found on the HMRC website 

The time taken to register for SET can vary so please ensure that you allow sufficient time to meet the return submission date.

Data security

Our latest guidance on data security, including submission of passwords, is detailed in our latest Returns bulletins which is published centrally on our website and can be accessed using the link below:

S17 page 

Centre for National Information

Returns on magnetic media or the VCT spreadsheet that are not submitted via SET should be sent to:

HMRC Risk and Intelligence Service
Centre for National Information
Ty Glas Road
CF14 5ZG

HMRC strongly recommends that returns are suitably packaged and are sent securely by means that record delivery or can be tracked in the case of delivery failure. All returns sent to Cardiff should be suitably labelled and accompanied by an appropriate submission document.

If you have any queries regarding submitting your return please contact our CNI

by e-mailing
or by telephone on 03000 582413

Paper forms

Returns can no longer be submitted on paper form VCTCOM100(Z).


Penalties may be charged under TMA70/S98 for failure to make a return or for making an incorrect return.