1. 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 don’t 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.


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.