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What you need to do at the end of your first year's accounting period as a limited company

At the end of each year a company must file a CT600 and set of statutory accounts to HMRC, and they must also file a set of abbreviated accounts to Companies House

What you need to do at the end of your first year's accounting period as a limited company




At the end of your first year accounting period as a limited company, there are several statutory requirements that you must comply with. Failure to do so can result in your company being fined or even being struck off the Company Register. In this article we look at the legal requirements for limited companies and what you as director must do to avoid any penalties. That may sounds onerous, however, let's break it down and look at the steps you should take during your first year to ensure that you are well prepared.

What you need to do

At the end of your first year you will need to:

  • File a Confirmation Statement with Companies House
  • File Abridged or Filleted Accounts with Companies House
  • File a Corporation Tax return with HMRC consisting of a CT600 and a set of Statutory Company IXBRL Tagged Accounts that includes a statement of income (profit and loss) and a balance sheet

For simplicity I will break down what you need to do for both Companies House and HMRC. Although both are government bodies they have separate requirements.

First Step

It might sound obvious, however, please check your filing dates by going to Companies House website and searching for your company. Unless you incorporated your company on the last day of the month or have already changed your accounting end date, your accounting end date will be moved to the last day of the month. This means you will have an extended period to file for. You will need to create 2 CT600s and one set of accounts.

Companies House

Companies House is the register of limited companies within the UK. There are over 4 million limited companies within the UK, all are registered at Companies House. All must register certain information each year which is made public. There is an office in Cardiff for England and Wales, Edinburgh for Scotland, and Belfast for Northern Ireland.

Each year over half a million new companies are incorporated and registered at Companies House. This will have been your first contact with Companies House, whether you incorporated your company yourself or used the services of a specialist company.

Each year as a company director, you must file a confirmation statement and a set of accounts with Companies House. To file both of these you will need an account with Companies House and an authentication code. You can apply for these at Companies House - you will need your Company Number.

Your Confirmation Statement checks whether the information held about your Company by Companies House is correct. This includes a description of your trade or nature of your business (using a SIC code), statement of capital (shares issued), trading status of the Company, exemption from keeping a register of people with significant control (PSC) and shareholder information.
You must file at least one confirmation statement every 12 months.

If you only file one confirmation statement each year, it is due on your incorporation Anniversary date, you have 14 days to file it from that date. Please note easydigitalfiling.com do not currently offer this service. Go to Companies House website to file your confirmation statement.

If you change any other details of your company, such as the directors and secretary, people with significant control or company's registered office address, you must inform Companies House.

Annual Accounts for Companies House

Each year you must also send Companies House a set of Company accounts. You can do this using easydigitalfiling Online Company House Filing Software at the same time as you file your return to HMRC, or you can file directly via the Companies House website.
The information that is recorded in the accounts is available on the public record.
If you are a small company you can submit abridged accounts and if you are a micro entity you can submit micro accounts.
Abridged accounts are a simple balance sheet along with notes. Micro accounts are just a simple balance sheet. Both balance sheets require statutory declarations and must be signed by a director. To find out more about how to file to Companies House see our guide How to file to Companies House accounts.
You have 9 months from the end of your accounting period to file your accounts or in your first year 21 months from the date of incorporation.
If you fail to submit your accounts, you will be liable to pay a penalty. For filing up to a month late the penalty is £150. The penalties become ever more punitive the longer you leave it.

HMRC

At the end of every year, you will need to:

  • file a CT600 and set of accounts to HMRC
The accounts are in addition to the ones filed at Companies House. The accounts at Companies House are abbreviated, HMRC expect you to produce accounts that also include a statement of income (profit and loss) as well as a balance sheet. At Easy Digital Filing we provide accounts templates for both CT600 and accounts.

Please remember check the date when HMRC expect your return to be made up to. Unless you incorporated on the first of the month, your return will generally be an extended period as your accounts end date will be extended to the end of the month of incorporation. This means you will have to submit two CT600s and one set of accounts, as CT600 can only be for a maximum of 12 months. If you fail to submit the second CT600 you may get a fine.

To be able to file with HMRC, you will need to carry out the following:

  1. You must register for corporation tax. Usually HMRC will do this for you at the time you incorporated your company. You should receive your Company UTR Number in the post. If you do not, you should request one from HMRC.
  2. Once you receive your UTR, you will need to create a user account at HMRC.
    They will send you an verification code in the post, sent to the company's registered address.
  3. Finally you will need to activate your corporation tax service, by logging on to your account and activating the service. You will receive an activation code in the post.
    If you also need to register for VAT or payroll services you will be able to activate the service in this account.

Once you have done all this you are ready to create your CT600 and accounts. Please see our other knowledge based articles on creating a CT600 Corporation Tax return and IXBRL Micro Company Accounts.

You have 12 months fom the end of you accounting period to file your CT600 and accounts to HMRC. However, if you are due to pay corporation tax, you have 9 months and 1 day from the end of your accounting period to pay HMRC.

Remember if you are late filing to HMRC you will also be liable for a penalty, starting at £100, so its worth creating your filing well before your due date.

OK and breathe! It might sound a lot but with a bit of forward planning, you will be well prepared and ready to file at the end of your first year.

This article is information only and has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute legal, accounting, tax, investment or other professional advice or services. You should not act upon the information contained in this article without obtaining specific professional or legal advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this article, and, to the extent permitted by law, Comdal Limited, its members, employees and agents do not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this publication or for any decision based on it.