When Do Annual Accounts have to be Filed and How Much Do They Cost in the UK?

Did you know that your company in the UK is required by law to file annual accounts with Companies House or HMRC even if you are not trading? Before we talk about their deadlines, let's take a look at what annual accounts are:

What are the Annual Accounts?

Annual accounts are often called "financial accounts", "Financial statements", "business accounts" or "legal accounts". Financial statements give a complete overview of the company's financial operations for the latest year. The information contained in the statements can be used to create an income tax return as well as to determine the amount of tax due by a business

When Do Annual Accounts have to be Filed

Deadlines for Filing Annual Accounts in the Companies House

As the director of a limited company, you must file the annual accounts with the company's house. When you first set up and incorporate your limited company, a “fiscal year end” date for your annual accounts is automatically assigned to it. This date is the last day of the month in which you set up your company. It gives you a guide as to when to submit your accounts each year.

Note: For your first year, you must submit annual accounts within 21 months of your date of incorporation. For example, company A must file the company's annual accounts by July 12, 2023, If company A incorporated on 13th October 2021

After the first year, you must file your financial statements within nine months of your Accounting Reference Date. For example, company A must file its 2022 annual accounts no later than July 31, 2023, for the period of November 1st 2022. Confused? Don't worry. A professional tax accountant will help you meet these deadlines, including finalizing and filing your financial statements with Companies House and HMRC. So look for a tax accountant who can provide you with more personalized service, especially if you also need services such as payroll, VAT, capital gain tax, bookkeeping and income statements.

Deadlines for Filing Annual Accounts with HMRC

Each year you (small limited companies or micro-entities)must file a tax return and pay corporation tax to HMRC. Your company's tax return is due 12 months after the end of your financial period.

Your tax accountant has all the relevant financial data for your limited companies, but you can access this information yourself for reference. Small and micro businesses are still required to file full annual accounts with HMRC as part of the company tax reporting process. A good tax advisor can file the corporation tax return on your behalf, calculate how much corporation tax you owe and tell you when you need to pay it.

What You Need to Include in Annual Accounts:

To file annual accounts a company must need to include:

● Profit and Loss Account.

● Balance sheet.

● Director's report

● Audit report

● Name of the director

● Signature of the director

Note: Small limited ('micro') business owners are not normally required to file full annual accounts with Companies House; however, they must file a company tax return with HMRC. Your accountant will help you fill it out and submit it.

What Happens If I Submit My Annual Accounts After the Deadline?

Companies House and HMRC have separate penalties for not submitting your accounts by the deadlines set by each.

These are the Penalties for Late Filing of Your Annual Accounts with Companies House:

time after your penalty deadline Amount

Up to 1 month £150

1 to 3 months £375

3-6 months £750

More than 6 months £1,500

These are the Penalties for Filing Your Tax Return Late with HMRC:

time after your penalty deadline Amount

less than three months late £100

More than 3 months £200

More than 12 months 20% tax due

Different Types of Limited Liability Accounts

All businesses other than 'small' businesses, micro-businesses and dormant businesses are required to submit full annual accounts or 'statutory accounts' to Companies House and HMRC. These accounts consist of:

● a profit and loss account

● a directors’ report

● an auditors’ report

● a balance sheet

● Name of the director

● Signature of the director

Small Business Accounts

To be considered small, your business must satisfy the following 2 criteria:

● Annual turnover less than £10.2 million

● a total balance sheet should be less than £5.1 million

● less than 50 employees

Small business accounts are exempt from audit, so you do not need to include an audit report.

Micro-Entity Accounts

Very small-sized companies can set up micro-entity accounts. They come with fewer requirements than accounts for small companies. To be a micro-entities, your business must satisfy 2 of the criteria:

● annual turnover less than £632,000

● the balance sheet should be less than £316,000

● Employers with less than 10 employees

Dormant Company Accounts

Dormant businesses only have to create dormant financial statements. They aren't required to submit any information to HMRC however they have to notify HMRC that the business is inactive to be used for Corporation Tax purposes.

Cost of Annual Accounts

What is My Company's Accounting Reference Date (ARD)

Every company is given accounting reference data (ARD) upon the day they register at Companies House. This date marks the conclusion of the fiscal year of the company. The very first ARD for a firm is received on the last day of the month that it was founded such as:

● The company is registered on the 1st of July 2022.

● The first time you will receive an ARD is July 31st, 2023.

The ARD will be the same after every year unless you extend or shorten the financial year.

Can I Change My Accounting Reference Date?

Yes, the accounting reference date can be changed at any time, but you cannot change it if your annual accounts are overdue. If you want to change the ARD for your company. The director needs to fill out the Companies House Form AA01. It is a simple procedure to complete this form.

How much will Annual Accounts Cost?

The cost of your annual accounts will be based on the size and complexity of your company. We are online accountants and charge between £299 and £599 per annum to prepare and submit your company's accounts with Companies House and HMRC.

● £150 to £250 for a Small Limited Company with a Turnover of up to £30k

● £450 for a Medium Limited Company with a turnover between £100k to £130k

● £600 for a Large Limited Company with a Turnover between £250k to £300k

Need Help?

We at Pro Tax Accountant, advise you to provide us with your accounting data soon after the financial year is over. This will enable us to prepare your financial statements prior to any deadline. This will ensure that the financial information you receive is more accurate and related to your decision-making process and allows plenty of time to prepare for any tax obligations.

If you want to read more on "Annual Accounts", please click here.

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