Understanding what’s required for a limited company tax return


As a limited company in the UK, you have a legal obligation to file an accurate tax return with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) each year. This is a crucial part of your legal requirements as a limited company, and it’s important to understand the steps involved in preparing and submitting your tax return. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the requirements for a limited company tax return in the UK as well as other legally required submissions, so you can stay compliant and avoid any penalties.

Registering for Corporation Tax

Before you can file your limited company tax return, you must first register for Corporation Tax with HMRC. This can be done online via the government gateway portal. You’ll need to provide your company name, registration number, date of incorporation, and details of your business activities.

Accounting Period

Your company’s accounting period is the period of time for which you must report your income and expenses. This period can be different from the calendar year and must not exceed 12 months. You can adjust your accounting period if you need to so long as your accounts are not already overdue. There are circumstances where you can lengthen your company’s accounting period up to a maximum of 18 months, for example when you are bringing the company’s accounting period into line with a subsidiary or parent company, but this is only allowed once every five years. There is no restriction on shortening your accounting period, but you will have to file more returns each year if you have an accounting period of less than 12 months.

Keeping Records

Keeping accurate records of your income and expenses is essential for completing your tax return. You’ll need to maintain records of your sales, purchases, expenses, and other financial transactions. You’ll also need to keep copies of invoices, receipts, and bank statements to support your tax return.

Completing the Tax Return

The tax return form for a limited company is called a CT600, and it must be filed online using HMRC’s online filing service. The CT600 form requires you to provide details of your company’s income, expenses, profits, and tax liabilities for the accounting period.

Deadlines and penalties

The deadline for filing your tax return is typically 12 months after the end of your accounting period. For example, if your accounting period ends on 31 December, your tax return must be filed by 31 December of the following year. Late filing of your return will result in penalties as follows:

Time after your deadline Penalty
1 day £100
3 months Another £100
6 months HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will estimate your Corporation Tax bill and add a penalty of 10% the unpaid tax
12 months Another 10% of any unpaid tax

You must pay any Corporation Tax due by 9 months and 1 day after the end of the accounting period. So, for a company with an accounting period ending on 31 March, Corporation Tax is due on 1 January of the following year.

Other documentation

In addition to filing your CT600 Limited company tax return each year, you are also obliged to file annual accounts which for small companies can be just a balance sheet. You’ll also need to complete your company confirmation statement as well. If you are registered for VAT and/or you have employees, you’ll also need to complete VAT and PAYE returns.

Ensuring compliance for your limited company tax return

In conclusion, preparing and filing a tax return for your limited company can be a complex process. However, by registering for Corporation Tax, keeping accurate records, and filing on time, you can stay compliant and avoid any penalties. It’s also worth considering hiring an accountant or tax professional to help you with your tax return, ensuring that you’re fully compliant with the legal requirements of being a limited company in the UK. The team at Adams Accountancy is highly trained and able to help you with your limited company tax return, annual accounts and other required submissions to HMRC and Companies House. Give us a call on 01322 250001 for a no-obligation chat about our services now.

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