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What Returns does a Company Need to Make Each Year?

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What Returns does a Company Need to Make Each Year?
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Annually, companies must meet Companies House and HMRC requirements. However, the exact details of what needs to be submitted, when, and to whom can be unclear.

Annually, companies are required to submit numerous filings to different legal bodies. This can be confusing and lead business owners to believe they have submitted all the required filings, only to receive a penalty charge from HMRC to their registered address for a missed or incorrect filing. This adds another layer of stress to running a business, which can be easily avoided if given the correct information. In the following paragraphs, you will read about the different types of filings that a Limited Company must submit and to which legal body each filing must be submitted to, avoiding penalties and ensuring a smooth filing process. 


Abridged Accounts: Submitted to Companies House Yearly



Abridged Accounts are simply the format that Companies House requires the accounts to be completed in. The abridged format requires companies to submit accounts which contain a simpler balance sheet along with any notes. The company can then choose whether they want to include a simple Profit and Loss account and a copy of the Directors report.

These accounts are submitted once a year whether the company is dormant or active. You can find out when a company's accounts need to be made up until and when the accounts are due by on the company's Companies House page, simply input the company name, click on the relevant company and then you will be able to see the dates for filing to Companies House as well any previous years submissions. 

The filing to Companies House is soon going to change due to the passing of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023. This has not come into effect as of the time I am writing this article but it is estimated to take effect at some point during summer 2024, but don't worry because we are fully aware and ready for any changes that are made. 

If you are looking to file your Companies House Accounts you can do so using our quick and easy-to-use software. You can create an account for free today to try it out. 


Confirmation Statement: Submitted to Companies House Yearly

A business must file a Confirmation Statement once a year. The Confirmation Statement is where limited company's must confirm that their basic company information (registered office, officers, description of business etc) is correct and up to date or update the information if anything has changed.

The due dates for your Confirmation statements can be found on a company's Companies House page next to where you can find your Abridged accounts due dates. A company's director will need to submit the confirmation statement within 14 days of this submission date, for example if your confirmation date is 1 February 2024 you will have until 15 February 2024 to file the Confirmation Statement. 

If you wish to find out more about Confirmation Statements, please feel free to read our article What is a Confirmation Statement? In this article you can find out in further details about what information is required when filing your Confirmation Statement. You can File a company's Confirmation Statement by using Easy Digital Filing Software  or using  using Companies House website.


HMRC - Tax Filing

The CT600 is required to be submitted to HMRC once a year, the CT600 is the company's Corporation tax return.  The purpose of the CT600 is to calculate the Corporation tax that is owed to HMRC. 

The dates required for the CT600 submission typically match the dates required for the Abridged accounts but if you are unsure you can either log into the company's Government Gateway account and go to 'View account' then 'Accounting periods' and you should be able to see the period that you must file for. If this does not work you can call HMRC's Corporation Tax helpline directly and ask them. When HMRC require a CT600 to be filed they will also send a 'Notice to Deliver a Company Tax Return' to the company's registered address. On this document you will find the dates that HMRC require you to make up your accounts from and to. 

When filing the CT600, for most Companies, HMRC require the filing of full IXBRL tagged accounts (complete Income Statement, also known as a Profit & Loss statement, and Balance sheet) alongside the CT600 submission. IXBRL is a computer tagging language that HMRC require the accounts to be completed and submitted in. If the filing is not completed in this format, HMRC may reject the filing. If you use our tax filing software our accounts are fully tagged already.

Also be aware that if your company is filing for an extended accounting period (longer than 12 Months), which is usually the case when a company files its first tax return, a second CT600 is required to file for the full extended period. This is because the CT600 filing can only be used to file for a 12 Month period, any periods longer than that will require a second CT600 for the remaining days left in the accounting period.

If you are looking to file your CT600 you can submit this using our software. You can create an account for free today.


PAYE Return (Full Payment Submission): Submitted to HMRC Monthly or Quarterly


A PAYE return is typically done using a payroll software. This is because HMRC requires companies to report their PAYE information online unless they're exempt. If you are planning on incorporating a company or are simply looking for new payroll software, you can find all HMRC recognised payroll software's here - a company can use any of the software's on this list to report PAYE to HMRC.

If a company runs payroll itself, the payroll software will work out how much tax and National Insurance is owed including the employer's National Insurance contribution on each employees earning over £242 per week. 

Payroll software can also submit a company's Full Payment Submission (FPS) to HMRC. A company must submit their Full Payment Submission on or before their employees' payday, even if the company pays HMRC quarterly instead of monthly. Within the FPS a company must inform HMRC about payments and deductions made to employees every time they are paid. 

When it comes to paying HMRC, the company can view what it owes HMRC based on the payroll reports; a company can also view how much they owe through its HMRC Online account (Government Gateway). Once they know how much is owed they have to pay HMRC usually every month through the company's Government Gateway account. 

However, if the company is a small employer that expects to pay less than £1,500 a month, they can arrange to pay quarterly. To do this, the company must contact HMRC's payment enquiry helpline.


VAT Return: Submitted to HMRC Monthly or Quarterly


HMRC require all VAT registered companies to submit a VAT return every 3 Months, even if they do not have any VAT to pay or reclaim. Although, once a company has a net VAT liability of over £2.3 million in a 12 Month period they are automatically required to submit a VAT return monthly.  Net VAT liability is calculated as: if the output tax is greater than the input tax, then the Net amount is to be paid by the company and is the Net VAT liability.

When making your filing you need to be aware of which return 'Stagger' the company must comply with and when your quarters end depending on the 'Stagger' it is in. Below are the different possible 'Staggers', however, if you are unsure which stagger you need to comply with you should call HMRC directly to confirm. 

Easy Digital Tax and accounting information -  VAT

HMRC have a guidance package about 'How to fill in and submit your VAT Return'. This guidance sheet explains the common VAT terms and includes a helpful guide to completing the VAT return.


Hopefully this article has helped with the confusion of which filings a limited company must make each year and which legal body the filing must be submitted to. If you wish to carry on reading please dive into our Knowledge Base which has plenty of articles which can range from What is a Balance sheet? to Capital Allowances.


Author: Adam Parry

Adam is one of our Digital Accountants specialising in Small and Micro Accounting and Corporation Tax. He holds a First class Degree in Accounting and Finance and is an active contributor to our knowledge base articles. When not delivering a first class service he enjoys the ski slopes of Austria, dining and also has a keen intersting in classic cars.

Read All articles by Adam Parry
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.

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