After the end of a financial year, a company must prepare statutory annual accounts and a company tax return.
The accounts and tax returns must meet the deadlines for filing with Companies House and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). An accounting period for corporation tax is the time covered by a company tax return. Usually, it is the same 12 month period, as the company financial year covered by an annual account.
|Filing 1st accounts with Companies House||21 months after the date the business registered with Companies House|
|Filing annual accounts with Companies House||9 months after the company’s financial year ends|
|Paying corporation tax or informing HMRC that the company doesn’t owe any||9 months & 1 day after the ‘accounting period’ for corporation tax ends|
|Filing a company tax return||12 months after the accounting period for corporation tax ends|
Companies House may extend the accounts deadline if both:
- an event that couldn’t be controlled and stopped the business from sending the accounts
- applied for more time before the filing deadline
Business can e-mail or send a written application to Companies House, explaining what transpired and how much more time the business will need to file the accounts.
Prepare annual accounts for a small company
A company will be termed small if any of the following 2 hold good:
- 50 employees or less
- a turnover of £6.5mn or less I think this limit changed to 10m from 01 Jan 16 so please check
- £3.26mn or less on the company’s balance sheet I think the asset limit changed as well
For a small company, the business can forward abbreviated accounts to Companies House. Abbreviated accounts comprise of the balance sheet from a company’s statutory accounts, along with any notes. On a balance sheet, the name of a director must be printed and must be signed by him. Sending abbreviated accounts means less information about the company will be publicly available. For a small company, the business can also:
- use the exemption so that the company’s accounts don’t need to be audited
- decide whether to share a copy of the director’s report or not
Prepare annual accounts for a micro-entity
Very small companies are referred to as micro-entities. A company will be a micro-entity if any 2 of the following hold true:
- 10 employees or less
- a turnover of £10.2 million or less
- £5.1 million or less on its balance sheet
If a company is a micro-entity, the business can:
If your company is a micro-entity, you can:
- prepare accounts that are simpler and meet the statutory minimum requirements
- send only the company’s balance sheet with less information to Companies House
- benefit from the same exemptions is available to small companies
Correction and amendment to a company account
After submitting the accounts, if a business notices anomaly in the company accounts, they can notify Companies House by sending them an amended account on paper. The period of the amended accounts must be the same as the original account and the amended account must clearly state that:
- it replaces the original accounts
- now the amended accounts are the statutory accounts
- the amended accounts are prepared as they were at the date of the original accounts The word 'amended' must be mentioned on the front of the amended accounts, or else they may be rejected as duplicates if not mentioned. Even if the Companies House considers the amended account, they will still keep the original accounts with them on file. If a business only wants to amend one part of the accounts, the business will need to send a note stating exactly what has been changed. The amended copy must be signed by a director and filed with a copy of the original accounts.
Penalties for late filing
A company will have to pay penalties if they don’t file the accounts with Companies House by the deadline.
|Time post the deadline||Penalty|
|Upto 1 month||£150|
|1 - 3 months||£375|
|3 - 6 months||£750|
|More than 6 months||£1,500|
Penalties for public limited companies are different and in this case penalties double if the accounts are late for 2 consecutive years.
An appeal against a late filing penalty can only be lodged if the company has a legitimate reason as to why it couldn’t file the accounts on time. The reason must be supported by evidence that explain the circumstances because of which the business could not file the accounts on time. An appeal cannot be lodged if:
- the company is dormant
- the company can’t afford to pay
- the management was unsure about how or when to file the accounts
- the accounts were lost or delayed in post
- the company directors were travelling or reside overseas
If a company wants to appeal against a late filing penalty, it should send a letter on the address mentioned on the first page of the penalty invoice or send an e-mail to Companies House. A response can be expected within 10 working days.
Benefits of working with DNS Accountants
DNS Accountants is a renowned taxation and accounting firm in the UK and our team works with clients to manage their accounts and prepare amended accounts. Our services include:
- Auto enrolment, and individual and business taxation
- Bookkeeping and accounting services
- Payroll services
- Self assessment
- Value added tax (VAT) planning, along with others
Our team aims to provide high-quality customer service and help clients focus on chief business activities. Our additional services include helping clients with business bank account based, preparing and filing year end accounts, tax investigation services, and UK limited company formation for non-residents.