When to submit my company accounts?
Depending if it’s your first time filing your company accounts or if you’re in your second or subsequent years you have different time deadlines to submit your accounts.
The time also varies if you’re a private or public company.
Things can get a little confusing, so before you see the simple tables below with the deadline dates it’s important to know about your Incorporation Date and Accounting Reference Date as these dates are how you know when you need to submit your accounts by.
Incorporation Date and Accounting Reference Date
Your incorporation date is the day you registered with Companies House.
Your first accounting reference date is the last day of the month in which the anniversary of the incorporation falls.
For example, if your Incorporation Date was on the 17th November 2019 (the day you registered with Companies House) your Accounting Reference Date would be the 30th November 2020 (the last day of the month of the incorporation anniversary) and every year after.
You can change your Accounting Reference Date or may have already changed the date so bear this in mind for the deadline.
With these two bits of information, you can now see when your accounts are due.
Deadline for submitting company accounts with Companies House
If you’re in your first year and your accounts cover a period of more than 12 months these are the deadlines below for private and public companies.
Filing your first set of company accounts that cover a period of over 12 months
|Filing your first set of accounts to Companies House, if those accounts cover a period of more than 12 months||Within 21 months of the date of incorporation|
|Filing your first set of accounts to Companies House, if those accounts cover a period of more than 12 months||Within 18 months of the date of incorporation|
|For both Companies||Deadline|
|Filing your first set of accounts to Companies House, if those accounts cover a period of more than 12 months||3 months from the accounting reference date, whichever is longer|
For example, if your incorporation date was on the 17th November 2019 and you are a private company, you have until midnight 17th August 2021 (21 months from your date of incorporation) to deliver your accounts.
Sometimes clients mistake the deadline as the end of the month after 21 months. Unfortunately, this leads to you passing over the deadline date and on the receiving end of a late penalty fine. Make sure you note the incorporation date and file your accounts by exactly 21 months (for a private company) or 18 months (for a public company) as the deadline is calculated to the exact day.
If your first accounts cover a period of 12 months or less or you are filing for your second or subsequent years it gets a lot easier to figure out. You would use the following table below.
Filing your second and subsequent sets of accounts or your first years accounts that cover a period under 12 months
|File your second and following annual accounts with Companies House||9 months from the accounting reference date for a private company|
|File your second and following annual accounts with Companies House||6 months from the accounting reference date for a public company|
For example, if you’re a public company and your Accounting Reference Date is the 30th November 2020 you have until the 31st May 2021 (6 months from your accounting reference date) to submit your accounts. As your Accounting Reference Date falls at the end of the month, unless you’ve changed it, you have until the 31st May, not the 30th to submit.
What to do if you’re late submitting company accounts
If you’ve missed the deadline to submit your limited company accounts to Companies House there will be a late penalty fine.
Fines are still payable even if you’re a dormant company, so it’s always best to keep up to date for the deadline time you need to submit by.
The chart below is a reference for the fines you are liable to pay after a certain time for submitting late company accounts.
|Time after the deadline||Fine (for private limited companies)||Fine (for public companies)|
|Up to 1 month||£150||£750|
|1 to 3 months||£375||£1,500|
|3 to 6 months||£750||£3,000|
|More than 6 months||£1500||£7,500|
If you have an unplanned event that stops you from filing your accounts you can apply to extend the deadline. More information can be found here.
You can appeal against a late penalty fine by sending an email, including the penalty reference, to email@example.com
What to do next?
As part of our professional services, we can help submit accounts including calculating the tax correctly, advise on capital allowances, allowable/disallowable expenditure and tax-efficient distributions etc.
We also keep track of all deadlines and do the administration work so you can focus on what you do best.
If you feel unsure about submitting company accounts yourself and want a professional to do it for you then we are happy and available to help.
For more information, take a look at our small business accounting costs and payroll costs pages for the factors influencing different SME accounting services. If you are looking at managing your business and personal finances better, take a look at our articles detailing what influences financial advisor costs and wealth manager fees for high net worth individuals.
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