October 15th, 2020

What are the deadlines for filing accounts?

No matter whether you are actively trading or dormant, if you own a limited company then you must submit your annual accounts with both Companies House and HMRC. Failure to do so before the deadlines will result in large fines.

The deadlines are individual to your business – there is no standard date. Read on to find out about the deadlines and the penalties for missing them.

Filing accounts with Companies House

When you set up your company and officially incorporate it, you will be given a date for your company’s end of year. This will be the last day of the month in which you set up your business. So, if you set your company up on 3rd July 2020, your end of financial year would be 31st July.

You’ll need to file your first set of accounts to cover the first year and those extra days in the first month. Using the example above, that means your accounts would cover 3rd July 2020 to 31st July 2021. Then, every year after that, it would cover the full year alone – 1st August 2021 to 31st July 2022 etc.

In terms of the deadlines for filing, you have nine months after the end of the financial year to file your accounts. This is slightly different in your first year, as it’s instead 21 months after your initial incorporation date. So you would have until 3rd March 2022 to file the first year’s accounts, and then each year after that would need to be submitted by the 31st March.

Filing accounts with HMRC

The deadlines for submitting your Company Tax Return and for paying Corporation Tax are slightly different with HMRC. You must make sure you’ve submitted your Company Tax Return (CT600) 12 months after the end of your accountancy period – so 31st July using the above example. You must also make sure that you have paid your Corporation Tax no later than nine months and one day after the end of your financial year – so 1st April in the example.

Full annual accounts should include a profit and loss account, a balance sheet that lists the value of assets and liabilities, comments and a Director’s report. It may also need to include an Auditor’s report if your business is of a certain size. Accounts must be signed by the director. If your business is classed as a micro-entity you will not need to submit full accounts to Companies House but you will need to submit them as part of your Company Tax Return to HMRC.

If you are late filing your accounts, you’ll be charged. The charges vary between Companies House and HMRC.

If you are late by up to one month in submitting to Companies House, you will be fined £150. This increases to £375 for late submissions up to three months, and £750 up to six months. If you submit later than six months after your deadline, the fine is £1,500.

If you are late submitting to HMRC by just one day, you will be charged £100. This is doubled to £200 if you are late up to three months after the deadline. Up to six months’ late sees the fine increase to 10% of your unpaid Corporation Tax, with another 10% for lateness up to 12 months. If you fail to submit accounts for consecutive years, fines can be doubled.

We can help you to ensure you always submit on time and avoid these penalties. Get in touch if you would like to find out more.