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Company Returns – Legal Folio
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Legal Folio > Company Returns

Overview

Your company or association must file a Company Tax Return if you get a ‘notice to deliver a Company Tax Return’ from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

You must still send a return if you make a loss or have no Corporation Tax to pay.

You do not send a Company Tax Return if you’re self-employed as a sole trader or in a partnership – but you must send a Self Assessment return.

What it involves

When you file your tax return, you work out your:

  • profit or loss for Corporation Tax (this is different from the profit or loss shown in your annual accounts)
  • Corporation Tax bill

You can either get an accountant to prepare and file your tax return or do it yourself.

If you have a limited company, you may be able to file your accounts with Companies House at the same time as your tax return.

Deadlines

The deadline for your tax return is 12 months after the end of the accounting period it covers. You’ll have to pay a penalty if you miss the deadline.

There’s a separate deadline to pay your Corporation Tax bill. It’s usually 9 months and one day after the end of the accounting period.

Penalties for late filing

You’ll have to pay penalties if you do not file your Company Tax Return by the deadline.

Time after your deadlinePenalty
1 day£100
3 monthsAnother £100
6 monthsHM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will estimate your Corporation Tax bill and add a penalty of 10% the unpaid tax
12 monthsAnother 10% of any unpaid tax

If your tax return is late 3 times in a row, the £100 penalties are increased to £500 each.

If your tax return is more than 6 months late

If your tax return is 6 months late, HMRC will write telling you how much Corporation Tax they think you must pay. This is called a ‘tax determination’. You cannot appeal against it.

You must pay the Corporation Tax due and file your tax return. HMRC will recalculate the interest and penalties you need to pay.

Appeals

If you have a reasonable excuse, you can appeal against a late filing penalty by writing to your company’s Corporation Tax office.

Check recent tax forms or letters from HMRC for your Corporation Tax office address or call the Corporation Tax helpline.