Whether you are coming to the end of your Company's first year of trading, or have been trading for several years, at the end of each year you need to file a Corporation Tax Return with HMRC and pay any corporation tax due. This process includes completing a CT600 (the corporation tax return) and attaching a set of IXBRL Tagged Company Accounts. You may choose to use the services of an accountant or do it yourself. In this article we show you how to do it yourself - yes you can! This will save you money and provide you with a clearer insight on how your business is performing. It may also save you time as you won't need to go back and forth to an accountant!
What you need to know
Once your accounting period has finished, you have 12 months to file your Corporation Tax Return to HMRC. However, if you have any corporation tax to pay, it must be paid to HMRC within 9 months and a day of your accounting period ending. You also need to file your accounts with Companies House within 9 months of the Companies year end.
Ok, that may sound a bit daunting and official, so lets break it down into the simple steps that Easy Digital Filing enables for the creation and filing of a CT600 Corporation Tax return along wth IXBRL Company Accounts. The accounts can be submitted to both Companies House and HMRC or just HMRC.
How do you file to HMRC?
An annual return to HMRC is made up of 3 parts:
- A CT600 - this used to be a paper form that was posted to HMRC. Now each company must file the information contained in a CT600 electronically. See 'what is a CT600 return' for more information.
- Computations - these show how your figures in the CT600 are calculated. We take the information you input into your CT600 to create and IXBRL tag your computations.
- Company Accounts - these are a standard set of accounts, with a Profit and Loss (income) Statement and a Balance Sheet. The accounting standards applied depend on whether your company is a micro or small entity. These are also tagged with IXBRL, our article How to create Micro IXBRL Limited Company Accounts explains in more depth how to create these.
To file a Corporation Tax return using Easy Digital Filing you will need your Unique Tax Reference - UTR and your HMRC Gateway login details. If you have not already registered with HMRC please see their website. If you are VAT registered or registered for PAYE you will be able to use these login details. You must also ensure that you have activated the Corporation Tax Service in your Gateway Account.
How does Easy Digital Filing file to HMRC?
We have produced easy to follow templates: one that allows you to create the CT600 and the associated computations, and one that creates the tagged accounts.
The CT600 asks you to fill in your income information in a way that allows us to create the computations in the background. There are additional pages if you need to report on items such as Capital Allowances, how to file a Research and Development claim, additional income, and loans to participants.
The accounts similarly have simple to use templates. For Micro Companies there are just four templates you need to fill in:
- Company information - comprising of return dates, address, directors and employee number.
- Profit and Loss statement - your income and expenditure figures.
- Balance Sheet
- Optional notes.
We appreciate that creating your tax return can take time, especially when juggling the commitments of running your company as well, so you can log on and off as many times as it takes to complete your return, even over months! Your data is continually saved across multiple UK located servers, so you do not need to worry about losing data. (when you delete a filing all data is removed after 48hours, so we can recover it up to then - just chat a request for reinstatement).
Once you are happy that you have entered in all your data, and are ready to file to HMRC, we ask you to pay at this point - so no need to commit before you have tested our software up to the point of filing. We offer support via email, online chat, knowledge based articles, item context tooltips, Inline Help pages, and of course phone to help you along.
When you are ready to submit to HMRC and/or Companies House, you just click the submission button and the platform does the rest; the accounts and computations are IXBRL Tagged, encoded and attached to the digital CT600 and transmitted through to the HMRC Gateway. You will receive instant feedback as to whether your filing was successful, if you have made an error, you can correct it and resubmit (as many times as you need to), that's all included in the price you pay.
To file to Companies House at the same time as you file to HMRC, simply create a Companies House submisson. and enter your Companies House authentication code. Our software will take the information you have entered into the accounts template and file the balance sheet and statutory declarations only to Companies House. If you are not filing to HMRC at the same time or for further guidance, please see our article on Filing Company Accounts to Companies House. Remember Companies House require you to file your accounts to them within 9 months of end of your accounting period.