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Employer-run, relief-at-source pensions must submit return by July 5

Employers who run their own pension schemes and operate on a relief at source basis must file their return for the previous tax year by July 5. It is vital the information on the return is correct and complete, otherwise HMRC will consider the return to be incomplete even if filed on time.

You must also file form APSS590 to confirm the information within the return is true and complete. The return relates to contributions made in the previous tax year up to April 5.

How do I file the return?

HMRC is happy for you to file the return in an Excel spreadsheet which is pre-formatted to the correct structure for the return. To help you get the return right, HMRC’s pre-formatted spreadsheet will include conditional formatting, which means:

If you’ve entered too many characters in a cell, the spreadsheet column header in rows 1 and 2 will:

  • Turn red.
  • Stay red until you have corrected the errors.

If you submit the spreadsheet to HMRC without removing the excess characters:

  • Your submission will automatically fail and the return will continue to be outstanding.
  • You’ll need to resubmit an amended spreadsheet.

The spreadsheets:

  • Are in Excel version 2010 (.xlsx).
  • Can accept 1,048,576 rows of information.
  • Have conditional formatting that detects if the specification requirements have not been met.
  • Cannot check the accuracy or suitability of the data entered and the return may still fail when HMRC process this.

Source: Gov.uk

You need to send the return through the Secure Data Exchange Service (SDES), and you can contact the pension schemes helpline if you need any help or have any problems complying with the return requirements.

Let us help you

Pensions and meeting your tax reporting requirements as an employer can be complicated, but we are here to help. Please get in touch and we will be happy to offer you the help and guidance you need.