Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what this means

HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

Returns / notices: notices and returns: filing dates

General

A company has to deliver its return to HM Revenue & Customs on or before the final day for delivery. This date, known as the filing date, is defined in Para 14 Schedule 18 FA 1998.

The statutory filing date is the last day of whichever of the following periods is the last to end.

  • 12 months from the end of the period for which the return is made.
  • If the company’s relevant period of account is not longer than 18 months, 12 months from the end of that period.
  • If the company’s relevant period of account is longer than 18 months, 30 months from the beginning of that period.
  • Three months from the date on which the notice requiring the return was served.

See Filing date (Word 42KB) for examples.

In this context ‘relevant period of account’ means the period of account of the company in which the last day of that accounting period falls. ‘Period of account’ means a period for which the company makes up accounts.

12 months from the end of the return period

Twelve months is calculated as follows. When the last day of the period for which the return is made:

  • is the last day of a calendar month, on the last day of the twelfth following calendar month
  • is not the last day of a calendar month, on the correspondingly numbered day in the twelfth following month.

Three months from when the notice is served

The period of three months starts on the day after the day on which the notice to deliver was served and ends:

  • when the date of service is the last day of a calendar month, on the last day of the third following calendar month
  • when the date of service is not the last day of a calendar month, on the correspondingly numbered day in the third following month
  • when there is no day in the third following month corresponding to the day of service, on the last day of the third following month.

For these purposes, the date of service by second class post is the fourth working day after the date of postage unless the company proves otherwise, Section 7 Interpretation Act 78 and Rules of the Supreme Court, Order 65, Rule 5.

The date of service is calculated by COTAX as being four working days after the issue of the notice to deliver.

You use function DPER (Display Specified Period Notice) to see the date of issue of a notice to deliver.

Top of page

Examples of filing dates when the return is due three months from the date of issue of the notice

Date of service Filing date
15 January 2015 15 April 2015
27 November 2015 27 February 2016
28 November 2015 28 February 2016
29 November 2015 29 February 2016
30 November 2015 29 February 2016
29 November 2016 28 February 2017
28 February 2017 31 May 2017
28 February 2017 28 May 2017
29 February 2016 31 May 2016

Top of page

Revised filing date

Where you calculate the statutory filing date to be a later date than shown on COTAX you must amend the COTAX record to avoid the issue of incorrect penalties. See COM130210 for more information.

Top of page

Deferred filing date

Although return filing dates are fixed by statute, a caseworker has the general power under Section 118 (2) TMA 1970 to:

  • allow further time for something to be done
  • accept a reasonable excuse for failure to do something.

Additionally, when the Registrar of Companies grants a company further time to deliver its accounts, the company may also be able to deliver its return later than the filing date without incurring a penalty.

In these circumstances a Technical Caseworker or CT Co-ordinator needs to use function RDAC to enter a deferred filing date.

See:

  • COM100000 onwards for more information on these points
  • COM130021 for a list of functions to use in particular situations
  • COM130012 for legislation applying to this subject.