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HMRC internal manual

Company Taxation Manual

CTSA: group payment arrangements: accounting periods & group payment periods

The arrangement is framed to relate to:

  • a period of account,


  • a succession of periods of account, of the nominated company.

Each period is referred to, departmentally, as a group payment period.

  • Group payment periods are normally (and will not be longer than) twelve months. There may be circumstances when a group will draw up accounts for a period longer than 12 months, possibly because of a merger/demerger, or take-over. In these circumstances the group payment arrangement does not need to be terminated. The group can make special arrangements with the group payment team to remain within the group payment arrangement. You should refer such cases to the appropriate group payment team as soon as you become aware of them.
  • Each period is normally (see exception immediately below) an accounting period of each of the participating companies.

The exception arises because the group payment arrangement contract contains the concept of a ‘relevant accounting period’. This is an accounting period of a participating company which:

  1. is identical to the group payment period,


  1. starts during and ends on the same day as the group payment period (this covers a company that starts business after the beginning of the group’s year),


  1. falls wholly within, but ends before, the group payment period and is followed by another accounting period which falls within (b); (in particular, a company that ceases trading during the group’s year but then has investment income for the rest of the year).

The group payment arrangement extends, for a given group payment period, to all relevant accounting periods.

It follows that:

  • A company that is newly formed, newly activated or newly acquired by the group can, by agreement, be covered by the arrangement:
    • provided it aligns its accounting date with that of the nominated company (see CTM97470),
  • A company that is newly formed, newly activated or newly acquired by the group cannot be covered by the arrangement:
    • in respect of an accounting period that began before the period of account covered by the arrangement (see CTM97480).