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Annual Account deadlines for limited companies in the UK

Author: Josh Buffet
by Josh Buffet
Posted: Aug 13, 2018

There are definitely a few responsibilities becoming a contractor with a limited company, one being filing out the annual set of statutory accounts with Companies House and HMRC. We discuss when these accounts would be due.

Irrespective of the statues of your limited company, trading, non-trading or dormant, it is compulsory your limited company is filed with Companies House and HMRC. Companies House and HMRC sometimes allow you to file your annual accounts simultaneously, even though they do have different deadlines for the different files. Here we have some more information for you on annual account deadlines for a contractor’s active limited company.

Companies House deadlines for filing annual accounts

Legal accounts to file with Companies House include snapshots of summarised financial information that is essential for the Companies Act.

When you begin to set up and incorporate your limited company, you will automatically be given a set date for the company’s end of financial year. The date is the last month that you incorporated your limited company. This allows you to prepare your accounts to file for each year.

For example:

Company A incorporates on 13th October 2016. Therefore, its Accounting Reference Date and end of financial year will be the 31st of October.

For its first year of operation, Company A would have to file accounts for the dates 13th October 2016 to 31st October 2017. Subsequent accounts would be filed for the dates 1st November to 31st October (12 months).

For your first-year accounts, these must be filed within 21 months of your incorporation date. In the previous example, Company A would have to file the company’s annual accounts no later than 12th July 2018.

After the first year, the annual accounts can be filed within nine months of your Accounting Reference Date. For example, in 2019, Company A will have to file the annual accounts no later than 31st July 2019 for the period 1st November 2017 – 31st October 2018.

This may sound confusing, but don’t worry your accountants should be there to assist and keep track with deadlines and to also help file your annual accounts with Companies House (and HMRC). Many high street accountants may charge hundreds of pounds to file your limited company annual accounts however, we recommend you shop around for an accountant that can deliver you a more tailored service. If you would like services such as payroll,bookkeeping, VAT Returns and Personal Tax Returns.

Annual account deadlines for filing with HMRC

Every year you have to file a Company Tax Return and pay Corporation Tax to HMRC. Your Company Tax Return is due 12months after your accounting time ends (see the above example). All the required financial dates for your limited company will be held on record by your accountant, however, you can also have access to this information.

Your Corporation Tax must be paid nine months and one day after your accounting period ends.

Company A from the previous example would have to pay Corporation Tax by August 1st of each year (nine months and one day after 31stOctober).

A professional contractor accountant should submit your Company Tax Return on your behalf, calculating the right amount of Corporation Tax that you need to pay and give advice on when it is due by.

What if I miss the filing date for my annual accounts?

Both Companies House and HMRC have different consequences if don’t meet the deadline that each has outlined.

See below the penalties for filing your annual accounts late with Companies House:

Time after your deadline


Up to 1 month

  • 150

1 to 3 months

  • 375

3 to 6 months

  • 750

More than 6 months

  • 1,500

Here are the penalties for filing your Company Tax Return late with HMRC:

Time after your deadline


1 day

  • 100

3 months

Another £100

6 months

10% of your unpaid Corporation Tax

12 months

Another 10% of any unpaid Corporation Tax

The penalties could potentially be doubled if Directors continue to submit accounts later, especially for consecutive years.

You can easily avoid worrying about filing your annual accounts on time, by enlisting the services of a contractor accountant. Therefore, your annual accounts can be filed and kept on track of by expert accountants.

About the Author

Growth marketer. Digital strategy consultant. Consulting Audio engineer by background. Digital marketer by choice. Helping freelancers and smart companies being fully digital.

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Author: Josh Buffet
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Josh Buffet

Member since: Mar 24, 2017
Published articles: 10

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