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HMRC internal manual

Company Taxation Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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CTSA: the filing obligation: specified and return periods

However, the specified period may not coincide with an accounting period, for example if a company changes its accounting date without notifying the Inspector. The company then needs to ascertain the period or periods for which the notice requires a return.

FA98/SCH18/PARA5 (1) - (5) (formerly TMA70/S11 (2)).

There are four possibilities.

1. An accounting period of the company ended during (or at the end of) the specified period.

The company must make a return for that period. If there is more than one such accounting period the company must make a separate company tax return for each of them. Example:

Specified period 01.01.97 to 31.12.97
   
Accounting period 1 01.01.97 to 31.03.97
Accounting period 1 01.04.97 to 31.12.97

The notice requires a return for each accounting period.

2. The above does not apply, but an accounting period of the company begins during the specified period.

The notice requires a company tax return for the part of the specified period before the accounting period begins.

This situation is most likely to arise with new companies. It will occur when the specified period of twelve months begins on the day of incorporation but the company does not commence trading (and therefore commence its first accounting period) until, say, six months later. Example:

Specified period 01.01.97 to 31.12.97
   
Dormant period 01.01.97 to 30.06.97
Accounting period 01.07.97 to 30.06.98

The notice requires a return for the period 1.01.97 to 30.06.97

3. The company is outside the charge to CT for the whole of the specified period

The notice requires a company tax return for the whole of the specified period.

This situation is most likely to occur when the company is dormant throughout. Example:

Specified period 01.01.97 to 31.12.97
   
Dormant 01.10.96 to 31.03.98

The notice requires a return for the period 1.01.97 to 31.12.97. (This is the legal position. In practice you will not insist upon the submission of a return when you are satisfied that the company was dormant throughout the period.)

4. None of the above apply

No company tax return is required in response to the notice.

This can only happen when the period specified in the notice is for less than twelve months. Example:

Specified period 01.01.97 to 31.08.97
   
Accounting period 01.01.97 to 31.12.97

No return is required by the notice.