Deadlines for New Companies

This table provides a quick overview of the key deadlines for new, small, private limited companies with customary year ends and that qualify for audit exemption:

  • Annual Return
  • Accounts
  • Company tax return
  • Payment of corporation tax

Different rules may apply to existing companies, medium and large companies, PLCs, companies that are required to make quarterly instalments of corporation tax, group scenarios and other companies subject to an audit.




Period(s) to be reported


Penalty for delay

Filing of annual return

Snapshot of general information about a company's directors, secretary, registered office, shareholders and share capital.

28 days after ‘made-up date’ (unusually anniversary of company formation date).

One year starting from the formation date of the company.

Sent to Companies House on paper (form AR01) or online. There is a filing fee of £40 for paper documents or £13 for documents filed online.

No civil penalty, but criminal offence and can be fined up to £5,000.

Filing of abbreviated accounts

If a small company qualifies for audit exemption, it may submit unaudited accounts to Companies House in the form of an abbreviated balance sheet and notes, or full accounts if it wishes.

Within 21 months of the date of incorporation.

A year on from the last day of the month the company was formed in.

For example:

Set up company 12 August 2013:

Year end will be 31 August 2014, i.e. just longer than a year.

Sent to Companies House on paper or online.


Penalties ranging from £150 to £1,500 depending on delay. Also, criminal offence and can be fined up to £5,000.

Filing of corporation tax return (form CT600)

You account for your company’s corporation tax by delivering a company tax return to HMRC.

12 months after end of accounting period end.

Cannot cover a period longer than 12 months so you will need 2 returns:

  1. One covering the first 365 days;
  2. One covering the remaining days until the accounting period end.

Must be sent to HMRC online, accompanied by an electronic version of the accounts.


Automatic £100 penalty plus prospect of further penalties depending on the delay/ size of the tax liability.

Payment of corporation tax liability

A tax on the profits of limited companies and some organisations including charities and clubs.

Typically 9 months and 1 day from end of the period reported on with the company’s tax return. In your first year, you may have 2 payments to make- see next box.

If the company is profitable, you will have 2 payments to make:

  1. One covering the first 365 days;
  2. One covering the remaining days until the accounting period end.

Must be made electronically.

Late payment interest.


Help is at hand

If you are new to managing a company, your local TaxAssist Accountant can prepare the company accounts, company tax returns and tax computations and will also be able to provide advice on any tax planning areas that may benefit you and your company.

We can also take care of all of the peripheral tax responsibilities the company may have, such as registering as an employer, preparing benefits and expenses forms, maintaining a payroll, VAT registration, bookkeeping, submission of VAT returns, etc.

Your TaxAssist Accountant gives you peace of mind that your affairs will be handled accurately and in a timely fashion, which leaves you to concentrate on growing your new business.

By Jo Nockels
Last updated August 2013

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