Returns / notices: notices and returns: filing dates
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.
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|
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.
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.