Our experts give you an overview of accounts and tax returns if you are running a private limited company

At DSR Tax Claims Ltd, we know that setting up a business is hard work, especially when you are running a private limited company. That’s why our experts want to help make life as easy as possible for you by sharing our specialist knowledge with you. So, whether you are wanting more information about VAT or need to know how to register as a limited company, our handy guides are here to help. All our information is based on HMRC sources, so you can rest assured that these guides are filled with helpful and accurate information.

What do you need to prepare for your company’s accounts?

At the end of each financial year, your private limited company is required to prepare:

Companies House and HMRC set deadlines for receiving these sets of financial information, so it is important that you meet these deadlines. Penalties can be issued if you miss the deadlines.

Your accounts will also help you to calculate how much Corporation Tax you will need to pay.

Action Deadline
File first accounts with Companies House 1 months after the date you regi-stered your private limited company with Companies House
File annual accounts with Companies House9 months after the end of your company’s financial year
Pay Corporation Tax / inform HMRC that your private limited company doesn’t owe any Corporation Tax 9 months and 1 day after the end of your accounting period for Corporation Tax
File a Company Tax Return 12 months after the end of your accounting period for Corporati-on Tax

When HMRC refer to your accounting period for Corporation Tax, they are referring to the time covered by your Company Tax Return. In most instances, it is the same 12 months as your company’s financial year as covered in your annual accounts.

How do you file your accounts and/ or tax return?

You can file your accounts and tax return with Companies House and HMRC either together or separately – it is your personal choice which you refer to do or which option works best for your company.

However, if you are restarting a dormant company, or it is the end of your first year trading as a company, there are additional steps that you are required to take.

Be warned, you face penalties from both Companies House and HMRC if you don’t file on time.  If there are valid reasons why you couldn’t file your accounts on time, Companies House may extend your deadline, but both of the following circumstances must apply to your company:

  • There has been an event outside of your control which has prevented you from sending your accounts.
  • You have applied for more time before the filing deadline – you cannot apply for more time once the deadline has passed.

To apply for an extension to the deadline, you need to email or write to Companies House explaining why you won’t be able to file on time and how much more time you will need to file your accounts. You can send an email to enquiries@companieshouse.gov.uk or write to

Companies House

Crown Way

Cardiff

CF14 3UZ

How to file your accounts and tax return?

Your accounts must be filed at Companies House. Your Company Tax Return is filed with HMRC. If you have a private limited company which doesn’t require an auditor, you might be able to file them together. The following table gives more details:

To be filed How to file
File your accounts and Company Tax Return together Use HMRC’s online service or your own accounting software
File accounts with Companies House separately Use Companies House online services to send your accounts
File your Company Tax Return with HMRC separatelyUse HMRC’s online service/ your own accounting software

To perform these actions, you will need the following information:

  • Your Companies House online account details
  • Your HMRC online account details
  • Your company registration number

What happens if you need to make any corrections or amendments?

How you make corrections or amendments depends on whether you are amending your accounts or your Company Tax Return.

For amended accounts

If you want to change your accounts, you will need to send an amended paper version of your accounts to Companies House. These must be for the same period as your original accounts – you cannot change your accounting period in this way.

You will need to clearly state that these new accounts replace your original accounts and are now the statutory accounts and have been prepared as they were at the date of the originals. They should be marked as ‘amended’ on the front so Companies House know that these are amended accounts and not just a duplicate paper copy. Companies House will retain your original accounts on file.

If you only want to amend one part of your accounts, you can send a note saying that has changed. This note must be signed by a director of your company and filed with a copy of the original accounts.

For changes to your Company Tax Return

Changes to your Company Tax Return must usually be made within 12 months of the deadline.

To make changes, you can use the following methods:

  • Use your accounting software to make the changes and re-submit.
  • Send a paper tax return or write to your company’s Corporation Tax office, detailing the changes you wish to make.
  • Log into your HMRC online account and amend the Company Tax Return online.

If you need to know your Corporation Tax office, you will be able to find this information on any recent forms or letters you have received from HMRC. Alternatively you can call the Corporation Tax helpline on 0300 200 3410 – you will need to have your UTR (Unique Taxpayer Reference) at hand when you call.

You may receive a penalty charge from HMRC for errors. HMRC are also able to make a compliance check to check your Company Tax Return for errors so it is really important to ensure your tax return is accurate when you submit. It isn’t best practice to rely on being able to amend your accounts after they have been submitted.

Can you get others to file your accounts for you?

If your company uses the services of an accountant or tax adviser, you can get them to file your accounts and Company Tax Return on your behalf.

You can give your accountant or tax adviser your Companies House details and authentication code so they can file your accounts on your behalf. Similarly, you can appoint a tax agent to file your Company Tax Return on your behalf.

Please note though, that if you choose to use these options, you still remain legally responsible for the information contained within your accounts and tax return.

How can DSR Tax Claims Ltd help?

We know that setting up a new business can be pretty complex – there’s so much to think about and that’s before you start thinking about tax. Our friendly team of tax specialists at DSR Tax Claims Ltd are on hand to help make life easier for you. We’re the experts at identifying your maximum allowable expenses so call us on 0330 122 9972 – we’re the tax experts you can trust.