Guidance: Local Test Service and LTS update manager

Updated: The Local Test Service and LTS update manager page has been updated with a service availability message.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are aware of problems processing receipt of message submissions. This is under urgent investigation.
Please do not resubmit.

Use the Local Test Service tool to test your software against HMRC rules within your own environment.

Download the Local Test Service tool and save to an appropriate location.

Once downloaded locate the file, right click it and choose option ‘Extract all’ (Note: if you have Winzip installed then the ‘Extract all’ option may not show up, you will have an option to ‘Extract to’ instead.

Version 7 of the Java Software Development Kit (SDK) needs to be installed and working.

Source: HMRC

National Statistics: UK Stamp Tax statistics

Updated: Annual publication with statistics for the tax year 2016-2017. The publication now has two parts: a bulletin with commentary and charts, and a workbook with data tables.

This publication presents the yearly totals and breakdowns of Stamp Taxes collected by HMRC for the two main categories of ‘Land and property’ and ‘Stocks and shares and other liable securities’. There was also a third category of ‘Other Stamp Taxes’ which ceased to be applicable after the tax year 2003 to 2004.

Source: HMRC

Detailed guide: Share fisherman: Income Tax and National Insurance contributions

Updated: Rates have been updated for the tax year 2017 to 2018.


You’re a share fisherman if you work in the fishing industry and you:

  • aren’t employed under a contract of service
  • are a master or a crew-member of a British fishing boat manned by more than one person
  • get all or part of your pay by sharing the profits or gross earnings of the fishing boat

You also count as a shared fisherman if you used to work on a British fishing boat, but now work ashore in Great Britain. This could be making and mending gear or any other work for a British fishing boat.

Fishermen employed under a contract of service aren’t share fishermen.

Self Assessment

A share fisherman is classed as self-employed. You must register as self-employed with HM Revenue and Customs within 3 months of when you first started fishing.

Fill in a Self Assessment tax return

You must fill in a Self Assessment tax return each year. This is so that you can declare all of your income from any source, for example, self-employment, employment and Jobseeker’s Allowance, and claim any business expenses. You must keep business records to support information you put in your tax return.

Don’t record any tax that’s been deducted by your settling agent on your tax return.

Pay Class 2 National Insurance

When you register as self-employed, you’re also registering to pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions. The rate you pay in the tax year 2017 to 2018 is £3.50 a week. This contributes towards the basic State Pension, the normal range of benefits for self-employed people, and Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).

Claiming JSA

If your JSA claim date is between the first Sunday in January and 31 January, you’ll need to pay all the Class 2 National Insurance contributions asked for in your self-assessment tax return as soon as you can, if you haven’t done so already.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) must receive the payment for these National Insurance contributions by no later than 31 January. This is to avoid a delay in getting the contribution-based JSA you may be entitled to.

If you can only pay your Class 2 National Insurance and owe HMRC any other money, please contact us first before making the payment. We’ll normally apply payments to your oldest debts first.

Budget for your Income Tax and Class 4 National Insurance contributions

As a share fisherman, you can join a voluntary tax budgeting scheme to help you pay your Income Tax and National Insurance contributions.

Source: HMRC

Detailed guide: Share fisherman: tax budgeting scheme

Updated: HMRC’s fishing units contact details for fishermen registered in Scotland has been updated.

How the scheme works

Authorise your settling agent (payer) to deduct a minimum of 20% each time you’re paid. They’ll put this money into a dedicated, interest bearing bank account in your name (your fishing account). It will stay in that account until your tax and NICs become due.

Fill in a Direct Debit mandate, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will take money from your fishing account, usually in January and July. They’ll use the money to clear your outstanding Income Tax and Class 4 NICs – settling the oldest liabilities first.

Join the scheme

Register with HMRC as self-employed within 3 months of when you first started fishing.

Contact HMRC to ask for a Tax Savings Scheme form and a Direct Debit mandate.

Fill in the Tax Savings Scheme form and the Direct Debit mandate. Ask your boat owner or settling agent (payer) to witness and sign the savings scheme form. They will send both forms to HMRC’s Fishing Unit.

Your boat owner or settling agent will deduct the percentage you’ve agreed and pay it into your dedicated fishing account.

Deduction rates to use

The minimum deduction is 20%. But, if you’ve tax arrears or you earn more than £28,000 (gross) in a year, you must increase your percentage deduction. Do this in multiples of 5%.

To increase your percentage deduction you must fill in an additional Direct Debit mandate.

Claim sea kit expenses

If you join the scheme, you can claim an allowance for sea kit expenses. This is to cover things like:

  • protective clothing
  • oilskins
  • boots
  • gloves
  • stones
  • bedding

You won’t normally be asked for proof of this expense as long as it falls below the agreed figure of £700.

If you aren’t fishing for a full year, you can only claim a proportion of this allowance. For example, if you’ve only been fishing for 6 months of the year, you can only claim a maximum of £350.

Get more help

If you need more help or want to speak to an adviser, please use the contact details below:

Fishing Units

For fishermen registered in Scotland.

HM Revenue and Customs

Cotton House

7 Cochrane Street


G1 1HY

Telephone: 03000 529 319

For fishermen registered in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

HM Revenue and Customs

Longbrook House

New North Road



Telephone: 03000 567 134

Find out about call charges

There are different telephone numbers for Self Assessment or National Insurance enquiries.

Source: HMRC

Form: Import and export: application for repayment or remission (C285)

Updated: The return address has been updated.

Information you’ll need

You’ll need the following details to hand to help you complete the form:

  • VAT registration number, if you have one, this is a 9 digit reference number issued by HM Revenue and Customs when you (or your client) registered for VAT, for example 123456789
  • registration subsidiary reference number, if you have one
  • entry processing unit number of the goods
  • entry number of the goods
  • Combined Nomenclature code of the goods
  • commodity code for amended case, if you have one
  • tariff quote serial number, if you have one

You’ll need to provide supporting evidence for you claim. This can include:

  • C88/E2
  • substitute entry
  • original preference certificate
  • VAT disclaimers
  • invoice (this must be a commercial invoice, not a pro forma)
  • airway bill
  • authority from importer for representative to be repaid

Before you start using the postal form

If you’re using the postal form and your browser is an older one, for example, Internet Explorer 8, you’ll need to update it or use a different browser. Find out more about browsers.

You’ll need to fill in the form fully before you can print it. You can’t save a partly completed form so gather all your information together before you start to fill it in.

Send your completed form, and any relevant documents to the address shown in the form C285.

Source: HMRC

Detailed guide: Pension schemes: information requirements

Updated: Links added for new R185 forms for scheme administrators notifying trustees, or trustees notifying beneficiaries, of lump sum death benefits.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) set requirements on scheme administrators, insurance companies, members and employers to give information.

Keeping records

The notification of registration issued by HMRC is the scheme’s confirmation that it’s a registered pension scheme. You must keep this as you may need to produce this letter at a later date – for example to prove that the scheme is formally registered.

As a scheme administrator, scheme employer, trustee or provider of administrative services to a registered pension scheme you must also keep documents for 6 years that relate to:

  • money received into the scheme
  • money owed to the scheme
  • investments or assets held by the scheme
  • payments made by the scheme
  • contracts to purchase an annuity in respect of a member of the scheme
  • the management of the scheme
  • any transfer out of the scheme

Information required by HMRC

As a scheme administrator of a registered pension scheme you must automatically provide HMRC with:

  • Event Reports
  • Accounting for Tax (AFT) Returns
  • unauthorised borrowing reports
  • notification of a transfer of pension funds to a qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme (QROPS)
  • notification that you’re no longer the scheme administrator

Event Reports

There are some events that occur in a registered pension scheme that must be reported to HMRC using an Event Report. You must send Event Reports to HMRC using the Pension Schemes Online Service no later than 31 January after the end of the relevant tax year.

If you’re reporting the winding up of the pension scheme the deadline date is 3 months from the date the scheme finishes winding up.

AFT Return

The scheme administrator is subject to tax charges when their registered pension scheme makes certain payments. Most of these tax charges must be reported and paid to HMRC using the AFT Return. This is a quarterly return that must be sent to HMRC together with the tax due.

Relief at source annual information return

Registered pension schemes operating relief at source must submit an annual information return detailing all member contributions paid in the previous tax year.

Read more about relief at source annual information return.

Unauthorised borrowing report

As scheme administrator you must report any borrowing by the registered pension scheme that doesn’t meet the authorised borrowing conditions to HMRC. You must do this using form APSS303 by 31 January following the end of the tax year in which the scheme borrowed the money.

Report of transfer of pension funds to a qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme (QROPS)

Scheme administrators must check the scheme they are making a transfer to is a QROPS. Any transfer to an overseas scheme that isn’t a QROPS will result in the scheme sanction charge for an unauthorised payment.

Scheme adminstrators must ask a member requesting an overseas transfer, within 30 days of receiving the request, for information about the overseas scheme. The member can use form APSS 263 to supply this information.

The scheme administrator must check whether the requested transfer is a taxable overseas transfer and subject to the 25% tax charge on qualifying transfers.

Transfers made before the member requesting it supplies the information to the scheme administrator will be subject to the overseas charge. This can be reclaimed by the scheme administrator if it turns out the charge shouldn’t have applied.

They must tell HMRC within 60 days of a transfer by submitting form APSS262.

The scheme administrator will have to pay any tax due to HMRC and account for it on the AFT Return

If a repayment is due in relation to a tax charge they pay, the scheme administrator will need to make a claim within 5 full tax years of the original transfer using form APSS242. HMRC will review the claim before making any repayment and contact the scheme administrator to request an amended AFT return.

Once HMRC has made a repayment to the scheme administrator, the scheme administrator must:

  • provide the member with the details of the:
    • amount of the repayment
    • reason for the repayment
    • date it was repaid
  • provide the scheme manager with a copy of the previous notification of the original transfer together with:
    • details of the amount of the repayment
    • the reason for the repayment
    • the date it was repaid

Reporting that you’re no longer the scheme administrator

You must tell HMRC if you stop being the scheme administrator within 30 days of the date you stopped, using the Pension Schemes Online Service.

Pension Scheme Return (PSR)

HMRC may send a notice to file letter to the scheme administrator telling them to complete a PSR. They must complete and submit the PSR by the date shown on the letter.

Pension flexibility payments and pension flexibility death benefits payments

You must report pension flexibility payments and pension flexibility death benefits payments to HMRC through Real Time Information (RTI).
You can read more about this in chapter 2 of the CWG2 guide.

Tax return for trustees of registered pension schemes

HMRC will send the pension scheme trustees a notice to file a SA970 tax return if they’ve reclaimed tax deducted from investment income. The scheme trustees must also complete this tax return if they have any taxable income. This return is only available in paper format and must be submitted by 31 January following the end of the relevant tax year.

Keeping your information up to date

You should tell HMRC about any changes to the scheme details or the scheme administrator. You can do this using the Pension Schemes Online Service or by submitting a paper form.

If you need to amend the establisher name for a scheme that has a status of open or if you wish to amend the scheme name you’ll need to notify HMRC in writing at:

Pension Schemes Services

HM Revenue and Customs


United Kingdom

You’ll need to include the:

  • PSTR of scheme you want to make changes to
  • current name of scheme or establisher
  • new name of scheme or establisher
  • reason for change
  • contact name, address and telephone number
  • copy of new trust deed

Changes of scheme administrator/practitioner details are reported on form APSS153.

Information that must be given to members

As a scheme administrator you must give certain information to members:

  • a flexible access statement telling them they have flexibly accessed their money purchase pension savings and information about what they need to do next – if they’re accessing those pension rights for the first time
  • a standard pension savings statement of the amount of their pension savings in the pension scheme for a tax year – if they’re more than the annual allowance or the member asks for a statement
  • a money purchase pension savings statement where they’ve flexibly-accessed their money purchase pension rights, and their subsequent money purchase pension savings exceed the available money purchase annual allowance
  • a lifetime allowance statement telling them how much of the lifetime allowance they’ve used up when their pension pot was tested against the lifetime allowance
  • details of:
    • the amount of tax due if they’re subject to the lifetime allowance charge
    • any unauthorised payment caused by the scheme providing the member with a benefit in kind
    • transfers to a QROPS including any tax paid or the exemption which made it tax-free

If the overseas transfer charge is repaid by HMRC, you must tell the member, within 3 months of the repayment, the date and amount of the repayment and the condition which allowed it

Find more about the events resulting in a member accessing their money purchase pension rights.

Giving information to other scheme administrators and insurers

If a member transfers a pension in payment to another pension scheme the transferring scheme administrator must give the new scheme administrator details of the amount of lifetime allowance used up when that pension first started. They must do this within 3 months of the transfer.

If the transferring scheme administrator believes the member first flexibly accessed their money purchase pension rights before the transfer, they must tell the new scheme administrator the date they believe it happened. They must do this within 31 days from the day the transfer took place or the day they first became aware that the member had flexibly accessed pension rights, whichever is later.

A scheme administrator must give information to an insurance company if:

  • a member or scheme administrator has purchased an annuity using scheme funds
  • a member receiving a drawdown pension uses part of their drawdown pension fund to buy an annuity from an insurance company

They must give details of the amount of lifetime allowance used up by the pension (and any tax free lump sum) when the pension first started. They must do this within 3 months of the purchase of the annuity.

Giving information to QROPS scheme managers

Where a scheme manager has made a transfer to a QROPS, the scheme administrator needs to inform the QROPS scheme manager within 31 days of the transfer:

  • whether a 25% tax charge applies to the transfer
  • how much tax has been paid
  • if the charge didn’t apply, why it was tax-free

As scheme administrator you must tell the member’s personal representative if the scheme pays a lump sum death benefit that is tested against the lifetime allowance.

If asked, a scheme administrator or insurance company must give information to a legal personal representative about the amount of lifetime allowance used up by a pension or lump sum payment within 2 months of a request.

If the member’s total pension savings are more than the lifetime allowance the member’s personal representative must tell HMRC.

Trustees of a trust receiving a lump sum death benefit

As a scheme administrator, if you pay taxable lump sum death benefits to the trust, you must tell the trustees:

  • the amount of the payment before tax
  • how much tax you deducted

You must tell the trustees this information within 30 days of paying the lump sum death benefit to the trust.

The trustees will pass this information to any beneficiary who receives a trust payment funded by the lump sum death benefit the trust received from the pension scheme.

Further guidance and the Pensions Tax Manual

A number of guides on pension scheme administration are available on GOV.UK and full detailed technical guidance regarding registered pension schemes can be found in the Pensions Tax Manual.

Source: HMRC