As the trustee of a registered pension scheme you may need to fill in form SA970 Tax return for trustees of registered pension schemes. If HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) asks you to complete a return, you must always do so.
You must complete this return on paper. You can't send it online.
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If you're a trustee of a registered pension scheme, you'll receive a letter each year, usually in April, telling you to complete a tax return. You can use the link below to download the return (form SA970) and a guide to help you fill it in (SA975).
If you download the form, make sure that you put your name, address and ten-digit tax reference number, called a Unique Taxpayer Reference on the tax return. You'll find the reference number on statements and letters from HMRC.
You must keep accurate records so you can complete the tax return. The information you'll need will depend on the pension scheme's circumstances but will include information about the scheme's income and trading activities.
Registered pension scheme tax returns usually have a 12 month accounting period that coincides with the tax year, running from 6 April one year to 5 April the next.
Your pension scheme may have may have a 12 month accounting period that ends on a different date, for example, it runs from 1 July to 30 June. In this case you can base your tax return on the income received during the accounting period that ends in that tax year. For example you'd complete the 2012-13 return based on income actually received in the accounting period that ended on 30 June 2012.
If you change the end-date for an accounting period, even by a day, you must complete all further returns based on the tax year end instead of the accounting period end. Take extra care to make sure you don't miss out any months during the year of the change over.
For example, if you change your accounting period end from 30 June to 5 May:
You completed the 2011-12 tax return based on a 12 month accounting period to 30 June 2011.
You change the accounting period to end on 5 May 2012.
If you don't have exact figures you can use:
If you use a provisional figure, you must tell HMRC when you expect to have actual figures.
Use the 'Additional Information' section to say how you've arrived at these figures and why you can't use actual figures. If you make adjustments at a later date and you haven't paid enough tax, you may have to pay interest and penalties.
The deadline for sending the return to HMRC is midnight on 31 January following the end of the year of assessment. If you miss the deadline, you'll have to pay a penalty even if you have no tax to pay.
There's an earlier deadline, if you want HMRC to work out the tax due for you. You'll need to send the return to HMRC by midnight on 31 October.
If you're going to work out the tax due yourself, the tax calculation guide for registered pension schemes (SA976) will help you.
If you make a mistake, HMRC may need to contact you before they can accept your return, so:
Check through the return and make sure you've filled in all the relevant sections. Sign and date it then send it to:
Pension Schemes Services
Castle Meadow Road
If you sent in your return by midnight on 31 October, HMRC will work out the tax due for you. You'll receive a tax calculation. If you are due a repayment of tax, you'll usually get this automatically. But it may be set off against other tax instead if there is an amount due soon.
If you have tax to pay, you will have to pay it by 31 January. Check your Self Assessment statement to find out more.
Administering a pension scheme can be complicated. If you're already a trustee, or you're thinking about becoming one, consider taking advice from a solicitor. You may also find it helpful to talk to a tax adviser or accountant.
If you have problems completing your tax return, call the Pension Scheme Services Helpline.