If you run a Limited Liability Company (LLC), you have a legal obligation to submit your accounts to Companies House every year. If you are one of over 300,000 UK companies that need to submit their accounts before the 30th of September, we look at what needs to be done in order to ensure compliance.
When is the annual accounts deadline?
Accounts must be delivered to Companies House 9 months after the end of the company’s financial year. This usually ends 12 months after the company’s Accounting Reference Date (ARD). This same date is used for the company’s corporation tax deadline. As a result, businesses that are established at the start of the calendar year find themselves with an annual accounts deadline of 30th September.
However, the deadline for filing your first accounts at Companies House is 21 months after your company’s incorporation date.
Can I extend my company’s year-end date?
A company can change its ARD / year-end date by either lengthening or shortening it. A company can shorten its accounting date but can only extend it once every 5 years.
The first accounting period, however, must be between six and eighteen months. Subsequent periods will revert back to twelve months thereafter. It is not possible to alter the accounting period after the filing deadline has passed.
How to file accounts by 30th September
The government website provides clear advice for the annual accounts deadline. It advises users to file as far in advance of the deadline as possible and to save time by filing online. The website assures users that “It can take as little as 15 minutes from start to finish and you’ll know your accounts have been delivered on time”.
Naturally, how long it takes will depend on the size and complexity of your company.
What accounts do I need to file by the annual accounts deadline?
Companies House expects the following accounts on an annual basis:
income statement (also known as profit and loss statement)
notes about the accounts
Company director’s name and signature
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Do smaller companies still have to file accounts every year?
All companies must file their accounts before the annual accounts deadline, regardless of size, earnings or activity in the financial year. However, smaller companies may file less detailed accounts, consisting only of the balance sheet and notes about the accounts. They are exempt from filing all other accounts listed above.
In order to qualify for this exemption, your company must:
have fewer than 50 employees
have an annual turnover of less than £10.2m
have a total of less than £5.1m on its balance sheet
Micro-entities have even more exemptions and are required to submit only their balance sheets to Companies House. In order to be classed as a micro-entity, your business must:
have fewer than 10 employees
have an annual turnover of less than £632,000
have a total of less than £316,000 on its balance sheet
How to avoid your accounts being rejected
Mistakes made when filing can result in your accounts being rejected by Companies House. This is another reason why the government recommends filing online. The online filing system has built-in checks to avoid mistakes that could complicate filings.
However, companies are also expected to carry out rigorous bookkeeping to ensure that none of the following common mistakes are made:
incorrect or missing statements
duplicate accounts from a previous year (with the same dates)
incorrect dates or figures
missing signatures or signatory names on the balance sheet
I did not trade this financial year. Do I still need to file accounts?
Even businesses that have experienced no activity or income in the financial year need to file ‘dormant accounts’ with Companies House. Your accountant will usually be able to set these up for you for a small fee. You will still need to file a company tax return with HMRC.
What happens if I file my accounts late?
It is the legal duty of company directors to ensure that accounts are filed with Companies House on time. As such, late filing is a criminal offence that comes with potentially serious penalties.
Fines for companies that file one month late start at £150 but quickly rise to £1,500 after six months. Furthermore, these penalties are doubled if the company files late accounts for two years running.
How Square can help
Square aids businesses in preparing for the annual tax deadline with robust reporting that allows users to view and download their sales histories and transaction summaries from the Square Dashboard. Whether you’re at your desktop or on the go, you can access accurate and up-to-date reporting that informs clear and accurate bookkeeping.
Contact our sales team to learn more about how Square could help your business.