When and how to file your annual accounts with Companies House - More Than Accountants

When and how to file your annual accounts with Companies House

Before you begin

Before you file your online limited company accounts, you must have them authorised by your company’s directors.

To use this service, you’ll need a Companies House password and authentication code, which you can get if you don’t already have them.

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Find out if you may file different forms of accounts with Companies House using your accounting software.

When do I have to file my company’s financial statements?

There are various deadlines for filing corporate accounts:

  • Within 12 months at the end of the accounting period to which it pertains, the company tax return (including accounts) must be sent to HMRC.
  • Within nine months of the conclusion of the accounting period, the accounts must be presented to Companies House.

For example, a business with a year end of December 31, 2016 must file its tax return (including accounts) with HMRC by December 31, 2017, and its accounts with Companies House by September 30, 2017.

What accounts do you need to keep track of?

Typically, a collection of accounts will include:

  • A profit and loss account
  • a balance sheet
  • and a director’s report 

Although an auditor’s report may be required in specific cases, organisations that qualify as small or micro-entities can benefit from audit exemption.

The profit and loss account displays the company’s sales, operating costs, and profit or loss for the previous year.

The worth of everything the company owns, owes, and is owed is shown on the balance sheet.

The notes provide additional information that aids readers of accounting data in comprehending the company’s present financial status.

The report of the board of directors contains information on:

  • whether the company’s finances are in excellent shape
  • how well it is functioning
  • whether it has the potential to expand and grow
  • how well it complies with financial rules

Further Reading: A Guide To Accounting For Limited Companies

Small businesses

Small businesses can choose to file reduced financial statements. There is no need for a directors’ report or a profit and loss statement because they are a simplified form of your accounting.

If any two of the following apply to your company, it will be classified as “small.”

  • You have a revenue of less than £10.2 million.
  • You have a net worth of less than £5.1 million on your balance sheet.
  • You employ fewer than 50 people.


Micro-entities are businesses with significantly smaller turnovers. If your business has two of the following, it can file micro-entity accounts:

  • Your annual revenue is less than £632,000.
  • Your total assets and liabilities do not exceed £316,000.
  • There are no more than ten people working for you.

Companies that have gone dormant

Companies House still requires an inactive business to produce annual accounts. With HMRC, Corporation Tax and Company Tax Returns have various obligations.

Companies House labels your business as ‘dormant’ if it hasn’t had any’significant’ transactions in the financial year that you’d ordinarily disclose. The following deals are not considered significant:

  • Companies are charged filing costs.
  • Penalties imposed by the House for late submission of accounts
  • money paid for shares when the firm was formed.

Dormant businesses that qualify as’small’ can benefit from audit exemption and avoid being audited.

When it’s time to file your taxes

Every business will have a financial reference date. This date will be used to calculate the deadline for filing your accounts.

It will be the anniversary of the last day of the month in which the firm was incorporated for new businesses.

It will be the anniversary of the day after the previous financial year concluded for existing businesses. Accounts must be delivered within 9 months of the accounting reference date.

Always remember to plan ahead of time. Make sure you’re aware of your company’s deadlines and that you’ve prepared your accounts ahead of time. Do not put it off until the last possible moment.

How do you file your taxes?

The fastest and most convenient way to file your accounts is to do so online.

To file an online tax return, you’ll need to do the following:

  • fill out an online registration form
  • a valid email address
  • Choose a password
  • have the authentication code for the organisation on hand.

Before you submit, the online service contains built-in checks to ensure that you have input all of the required information. Your accounts will be automatically sent to you when they are received, and again after they are accepted.

Who has access to your financial records?

You can submit your accounts yourself if you are confident. There are a variety of software solutions available to assist you in preparing and filing your taxes.

Many businesses will hire a professional to operate on their behalf, such as an accountant. In addition to filing for you, a professional can provide you with business and financial guidance to assist you in making the best decisions possible.

Even if you hire someone to file for you, it is the directors’ responsibility to ensure that the accounts are filed – and filed on time.

Whatever choice you choose, keeping precise and organised documents throughout the year can assist you when it comes time to file your taxes.

How do I file my business’s financial statements?

1. HMRC — In order to file online, businesses must first register with HMRC and get a user ID and password.
2. Firms House – companies must get an authentication number from Companies House in order to submit online (this is completely different to the one from HMRC)
The accounts can also be filed with Companies House.

Further Reading: How to file company accounts: a guide for limited companies

What are the consequences of not filing on time?

HMRC imposes the following penalties for late filing:

less than three months late – £100, three to twelve months late – £200, and more than twelve months late – 20% of the tax payable

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