From October pension schemes will have to file certain information electronically, as HM Revenue & Customs says it will reject any paper returns received after the deadline.
The latest pensions newsletter from HMRC outlines the new “processes which come into force on 6 April 2007 for pension schemes and provides information about mandatory electronic filing”.
It says from 16 October 2007 it will be mandatory for scheme administrators, which could be either providers or trustees, to file certain information electronically, including:
- An application to register a pension scheme
- A Registered Pension Scheme Return
- An Accounting for Tax Return
- A Scheme Administrator’s Declaration
- An Event Report
- Notification of Winding-up a Registered Pension Scheme
- Notification of Termination of a Scheme Administrator’s Appointment
And the Revenue warns while schemes may use either paper or electronic filing up to the 15 October, it says “if we receive a paper return on or after 16th October 2007, it will be returned to you and you will not have met your obligation to file within the filing deadline”.
HMRC says the decision to make electronic filing compulsory for these forms means quicker processing by the Revenue; while single keying of information by the customer reduces industry costs and administration burdens, and the automatic validation in the electronic process avoids errors and rework.
In addition HMRC says if the online service - which administrators must register with - is unavailable, people “should keep trying until the service is available. If this results in you not submitting the return the report or return on time, this will be taken into account when considering whether penalties will be charged”.
Andrew Tully, marketing technical manager, at Standard Life says: “This is a significant change which will impact on administrators of pension schemes from October. It is critical the Revenue ensures their systems are robust enough to deal with the increased number of users from October.”
“Employers will also want to make sure their scheme administrator can cope with the electronic filing of returns within the Revenue's timescales.”
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