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If you’re a director of a limited company, the thought of working through your year-end accounts likely fills you with dread. We’re here to tell you it’s not all bad, and you will get into the swing of things! We promise.

Let’s dive into what needs to happen when your company reaches year end and go through some tips to make sure you’re prepared.

What is my company year end?

Your ‘Year End’ is basically the end of your company’s accounting period – you might also hear it called your accounting reference date. It’s the date that your company’s accounts are made up to at the end of its financial year.

Each limited company has its own financial year based on the company’s ‘birthday’ (the date you registered it with Companies House) and ending on the last day of the month.

It’s different to a tax year, which runs from 6th April – 5th April!

What do I need to file when my company year ends?

When your limited company reaches its year end, you’ll need to prepare:

  • Full statutory annual accounts: This is a report on the company’s financial activities during the year, up until year end. It needs to be sent to all shareholders, people who can go to the company’s general meetings, HMRC (as part of your Company Tax Return) and Companies House.
  • Company Tax Return: Most businesses are required to submit this to HMRC online. You can only use a paper form (CT600) if you want to file it in Welsh, or you’re unable to file online due to a reasonable excuse.

What is the deadline for filing my company accounts and tax returns?

You’ll have filing obligations for both Companies House and HMRC once your company’s financial year ends. Listed below are the actions you need to take, along with the deadline. You can also use our online tax calendar.

What you need to do The deadline
File your first accounts with Companies House This is due 21 months after you’ve registered with Companies House
File annual accounts with Companies House The deadline for this is 9 months after your company’s financial year ends
Either pay the Corporation Tax due or inform HMRC that your company doesn’t owe any 9 months and 1 day after your accounting period has come to an end for Corporation Tax
File your Company Tax Return to HMRC 12 months after your accounting period for Corporation Tax has come to an end

What happens if I miss any of my year end reporting deadlines?

Anyone who is late reporting information or paying their taxes will normally receive a penalty from either Companies House or HMRC. The deadlines are very strict, and some companies have even been struck off the register for failing to report on time.

If you are late, you’ll receive an automatic penalty notice to file your accounts, as well as a fine which can increase depending on how late you are.

Late filing penalties with Companies House

How late you are
Measured from the date your accounts are due
Private Company or LLP
(Public Company)
1 month or less £150 £750
Between 1 and 3 months £375 £1,500
Between 3 and 6 months £750 £3,000
More than 6 months £1,500 £7,500

Late filing with HMRC

How late you are Penalty
1 day £100
3 months An additional £100
6 months HMRC will estimate how much your Corporation Tax bill will be, and add a penalty of 10% on top
12 months Another 10% will be added of any unpaid tax

Your year-end can be a tough and stressful time – especially if you are new to it all. Following these simple tips may help you get everything in order.

Gather paperwork

Every report and tax return you produce should be based on the cold hard facts of your company’s records, such as bank statements, receipts, invoices, payroll… and so on. It’s yet another reason why good bookkeeping habits are essential for every business!

Chase overdue payments

You’ll want your accounts to be accurate as possible, and the last thing you need is to pay taxes on money you don’t actually have yet. Crack down on any late payments before your reporting deadline to ensure you get the money in on time.

Sort your expenses out

Remember, you’re entitled to expenses! Claiming expenses will reduce your profits, which means you pay less Corporation Tax. Keep track of everything your company spends, and ensure you claim for anything you’ve used ‘wholly and exclusively’ for your business.

Cross-check everything

Ensure everything adds up. You don’t want your accounts to say one thing, and your supporting documents to say another. If you’re unable to get payments for some invoices, list them as outstanding debts owed rather than revenue and include any notes you think are necessary – for example, if you think you might not be paid by a customer, or if there’s currently a dispute.

Consider hiring an accountant

The easiest way to ensure things run smoothly is to hire an accountant. They can get to know your business and put your mind at ease if you have any burning questions or anxieties.

There are other things to consider (some mandatory), they include:

VAT returns

If you’re VAT-registered and on the Flat Rate or Standard scheme, you may have a VAT return due around the time of your company year-end. Always ensure your VAT-returns are sent off on time and pay HMRC if needed.

Confirmation Statement

A Confirmation Statement allows the director of a limited company to confirm their information with Companies House is up to date. You need to file this within 14 days of its due date (which is normally a year after your incorporation date, although you’ll need to submit one sooner if you need to report any major changes).

You need to submit a Confirmation Statement, even if your company is dormant.

Review how your company operates

It’s a great idea to check your suppliers annually. For example, has the price gone up in the last year? Is the quality of service the same? Could you be getting a better deal elsewhere?

It’s also worth looking at your finances to see if there is anything you can do to be more tax efficient. For instance, by paying money into an ISA or putting more money into your pension. The good news is an accountant can help you with all of this and ensure you’re saving as much money as possible.

Need to speak to an accountant? Call us on 020 3355 4047 or get an instant quote online.

About The Author

Rachael Anderson

A creative content writer specialising across business, finance and software topics. I have a love for all things writing, and creating engaging, easy to understand content that helps everyday people! Learn more about Rachael.

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