SMALL BUSINESS RESOURCES

End of year accounts checklist

4 min read

If you’re a limited company in the UK, you’ll need to make two important submissions per year – filing your annual accounts with Companies House and filing a Company Tax Return to the HMRC. To ensure your responsibilities are met, we’ve complied a snappy end of year accounts checklist to keep you on track.

If you find these submissions of your company accounts onerous, you can choose to register as a sole trader instead, which only requires the submission of a Self Assessment tax return to the HMRC.

What is Companies House?

Companies House is a government agency tasked with registering, incorporating, dissolving, and monitoring limited companies in the UK. They also share certain company information with the UK public.

The primary responsibilities of Companies House are to:

  • incorporate and dissolve limited companies
  • scrutinise, document and store company information
  • make company information available to the public.

When you register as a limited company in the UK, Companies House will require you to submit your annual accounts for end of financial year review.

When are company accounts due?

There are a few intricacies around the due dates for both your annual accounts and your Company Tax Return. 

The due date will depend on your registration date with Companies House. Additionally, when you file a Company Tax Return in your first year, you may have to file two as there is often a crossover period that needs to be accounted for.

Submission

Deadline

File first accounts with Companies House

21 months after the date you registered with Companies House

File annual accounts with Companies House

Nine months after your company’s financial year ends

Pay Corporation Tax or tell HMRC that your limited company does not owe any

Nine months and one day after your ‘accounting period’ for Corporation Tax ends

File a Company Tax Return

12 months after your accounting period for Corporation Tax ends

 

What accounts do I need to file with Companies House?

The accounts you file annually with Companies House are designed to be a declaration of the financial status of your business and how you performed over the accounting period.

Even if you didn’t trade, or lost money during the year, you still need to submit your accounts.

It should be noted at this point that in many circumstances, a private limited company can file their annual accounts and their Company Tax Return at the same time.

Company House will require that you file the following information with your annual accounts.

Annual Accounts

Your annual accounts will consist of the following information:

  • Profit and loss statement: a statement which states your company’s sales, operational expenses, and whether you made a profit or loss over the last year.
  • Balance sheet: a statement which details the value of what your company owns in assets, what you’re owed in debts and what debts you owe other entities.
  • Director’s report: a statement from the company director which outlines the health of the company, growth opportunities, outlook, financial management and compliance.
  • Supporting notes: any additional information that helps outline and define your accounts.

Be sure to have a handle on this information early – don’t leave this until the deadline as accuracy and timeliness is paramount.

When it comes to filing your accounts with Companies House, you may be able to reduce this reporting burden and submit abridged accounts if your company is deemed ‘small’. This means you can forgo the submission of both the director’s report and your profit and loss statement. 

To be considered a small company:

  • your company’s annual turnover may not exceed £632,000
  • your balance sheet may not exceed £316,000
  • you have no more than 10 employees on the books

If you’re still unsure of when you need to file these accounts, you can use the following company information tool. You can also sign up for email alerts to ensure you don’t miss a submission.

The easiest way to submit your accounts is to register and file online. Many companies will choose to nominate an accountant to do this on their behalf.

What needs to be filed with HMRC

If you’re a UK limited company, you need to file a Company Tax Return with the HMRC every accounting period. The use of both accounting software and the assistance of a business accountant is recommended, but not essential.

Company Tax Return (CT600)

Your Company Tax Return, also known as a CT600, is used to calculate and pay corporate tax, as well as to report earnings or losses. Your tax return will include:

  • company name 
  • company registration number 
  • registered office 
  • tax reference number 
  • turnover and profit 
  • tax calculation 
  • any allowances or reliefs

You may choose to file these online, have a nominated advisor manage this on your behalf or, in extenuating circumstances, use a paper form.

Annual accounts

In many cases, you can file both your accounts with Companies House and your tax return with HMRC at the same time, in the same portal, using your Government Gateway account. This option is predicated on your company not requiring an auditor.

How to prepare for the end of financial year

In preparation for the EOFY, and the submission of your accounts and tax return, you need to perform the following tasks.

Expenses

Calculate all your business expenses to formalise your deductions. Ensure you have proof and receipts ready for all your business expenses. 

Overdue invoices

Chase unpaid or overdue invoices to shore up your profit and loss statement. Be sure not to claim income on any unpaid debts. You should also prepare to write off bad debts as an expense, on top of reclaiming any VAT you paid.

What happens if you miss the deadline?

If you miss a filing or payment deadline with either the HMRC or Companies House, you may face punitive measures which include fines. It’s your sole responsibility to ensure your limited company never misses an accounts deadline.

Due to the effects of the pandemic, if you need more time to file your accounts, you may apply for a three month extension.

Accountants and software

While you can choose to compile your accounts and tax return yourself and file these online, there are other options available. Firstly, your accounting software should be capable of pulling together the bulk of this accounting information on your behalf, ready for input. 

Secondly, most companies will enlist the support of an accountant to submit accounts and tax returns on your behalf. 

This concludes our end of year accounts checklist for limited companies. If you require further assistance or information, refer to the HMRC website or book in a session with your accountant to be sure your UK business remains compliant.