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Once you’ve registered your company in the UK, you are legally required to record and report certain information to Companies House and HMRC throughout your business’ lifecycle.
In this post, we cover the ongoing obligations of a registered company that you need to be aware of, including statutory filing requirements. Let’s dive straight in.
One of the key obligations a limited company has is the preparation and submission of an annual confirmation statement.
This is a filing that needs to be submitted at least once every year, and the deadline for it will be either:
- 1 year and 2 weeks from the date of your last confirmation statement; or
- 1 year and 2 weeks from the date of your company’s incorporation
The confirmation statement serves several functions. In addition to confirming the company is still required, it also confirms the following details:
- Nature of business activities (SIC codes)
- The trading status of the shares
- The names of the shareholders
- How many shares each shareholder owns
The confirmation statement also confirms that all other information already submitted to Companies House about the company is correct. This includes:
- Registered office address
- SAIL address
- Details of each director and secretary
- Details regarding certain changes to the company’s share capital
- Information about People with Significant Control (PSCs)
Even if there are no changes in your details, or your company is dormant, you are still required to submit a confirmation statement at least once each year.
All companies, whether trading or dormant, must submit their annual accounts to Companies House.
The purpose of the annual accounts is to show the company’s financial performance over the last year.
There are different types of accounts that can be filed, and the exact one you will need to submit for your company will vary depending on your business’ size and trading status:
- Large companies are required to submit full statutory accounts
- Small companies can benefit from reduced reporting requirements with their accounts – for example, they can submit abridged accounts, which are smaller and have fewer reporting requirements than full statutory accounts (for example, they do not include a profit and loss account)
- Micro entities (i.e. very small companies) can submit micro entity accounts, which are even more basic than abridged accounts and only include a balance sheet
- Dormant companies can complete dormant company accounts, which provide only a basic balance sheet showing the company’s share capital (and the paid up status of that share capital)
You can find out the eligibility requirements for submitting small, micro entity or dormant company accounts on the GOV.UK website. Otherwise, you may need to submit full statutory accounts.
The deadline for private limited companies to submit their accounts to Companies House is 9 months following the end of the company’s financial year end. The sole exception to this is your first set of accounts, the deadline for which is 21 months after the date you registered your company at Companies House.
Don’t forget, it is also a requirement to submit a copy of your accounts to HMRC ( in addition to your Company Tax Return, which we discuss below).
Once you begin trading, you will need to register your company for corporation tax with HMRC. You must do this within three months of undertaking any business activity. This includes buying, selling, advertising, renting a property, and employing someone.
You can register online, using your company’s 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), which you will have received within 14 days of registering your company.
Additionally, you’ll need:
- Your company’s registration number
- The date you started trading
- The date that your annual accounts are made up to
Preparing your company tax return
You’ll be required to file a Company Tax Return (often referred to as a CT600 form) each year.
The primary purpose of the company tax return is to report your financial activities, calculate the amount of corporation tax owed, and provide necessary information for tax assessment.
Even if your business is running a loss and no tax is due, you still need to declare this to HMRC by submitting a Company Tax Return. However, if your company has remained dormant (i.e. has not conducted any trade), you will not be required to submit a tax return, so long as you tell HMRC in advance.
Any corporation tax owed must be paid to HMRC electronically by the deadline, which falls 9 months and one day after the end of the company’s accounting period. This means that you actually need to pay corporation tax before you file your Company Tax Return, which itself is due 12 months after the end of the accounting period.
Businesses with an annual taxable income of £85,000 (2023/24) or more need to register for VAT and send a quarterly VAT return to HMRC, which can be done online. Other businesses that make less than the threshold can also opt to register for VAT if they wish to.
A VAT return provides a detailed breakdown of the VAT amount owed on sales and the VAT that can be reclaimed on company expenditures. The difference between the two is usually the amount you will pay.
VAT returns are usually submitted on a quarterly basis, with the deadline being one month and seven days following the end of each period.
If you employ individuals, including directors, it’s likely you will need to register under the Pay As You Earn (referred to as PAYE) system with HMRC. This ensures the accurate collection of Income Tax, employee and employer National Insurance contributions, and various other deductions.
You should register for PAYE if your employees earn £123 or more per week, receive expenses and benefits, have another job, or receive a pension.
When you register as an employer for PAYE, HMRC will provide you with a unique reference number. This reference is crucial for reporting and managing payroll-related matters.
Once registered for PAYE, you’ll need to:
- Calculate deductions
- Regularly report the deductions you’ve made, the salaries paid, and any other relevant payroll information to HMRC
- Submit payments to HMRC, usually once a month
- Issue payslips to your employees
- Submit P11D returns to HMRC, if you provide your employees with expenses or benefits
Whilst PAYE is sufficient for the majority of people, it is not suitable for individuals with more complex financial arrangements. This is where Self Assessment and tax returns come in.
The Self Assessment tax return is the way in which HMRC collects Income Tax from certain people, including company directors, shareholders, and anyone with a taxable income of more than £100,000 in a financial year.
So, whilst it is not an obligation for the company per se, it is a key requirement for business owners to concern themselves with.
If you’re unsure whether you will need to register for Self Assessment and file a tax return, you can use HMRC’s check tool to find out.
The deadline for filing a Self Assessment tax return is typically the 31st January, following the end of the tax year, which runs from April 6th to April 5th. For example, if you’re reporting your income and taxes for the tax year ending April 5th 2023, the deadline for filing your Self Assessment tax return and paying any tax owed is January 31st 2024.
Thanks for reading
We hope this post has helped provide a clear understanding of your key obligations to Companies House and HMRC. Of course, each company is different, so you may have additional obligations to consider as well. For example, you may require an ongoing registration with the Information Commissioner’s Office. That’s not to mention any legislation and obligations specific to your industry.
Navigating your responsibilities as a business owner can be complex, so remember to always seek the advice of a professional to ensure you’re meeting all of the regulatory requirements on time.
Our corporate services can help ease filing pressures. Get in touch with our team of experts today to discover how we can help you.