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HMRC internal manual

Senior Accounting Officer Guidance

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Notifying Senior Accounting Officer details to HMRC: time limits for notification when there is a short or long accounting period or when the period for filing accounts has been changed

The company must notify HMRC not later than the end of the period that is allowed by the Companies Act 2006 for filing the company’s accounts for the financial year at Companies House:

  • For public limited companies this is 6 months after the end of the accounting period.
  • For other companies this is 9 months after the end of the accounting period.

In certain circumstances, for example a new company joining a group, the company may have an accounting period which is shorter or longer than 12 months or different from those in the acquiring group. In these cases the notification will be for the short, long or different period of account. So in a group situation the notification may either coincide with or need to be provided at a different time from those for other group companies.

Note that where the period is the company’s first, and lasts for more than 12 months, specific rules for filing are given at section 442(3) of the Companies Act 2006. The deadline for notifying the Senior Accounting Officer (SAO) details will still match the period for filing accounts with Companies House.

Changes to the period for filing accounts at Companies House

The Companies Act 2006 provides for the period for filing to be altered, in which case the period for notifying SAO details would similarly be altered:

  • Under section 392 a period may be treated as shortened following issue of a notice by Companies House, in which case the period for filing is altered by section 442(4).
  • Under section 442(5) the Secretary of State may grant a specific extension to the period for filing accounts on receipt of an application from the company.

Otherwise the period for filing cannot be changed unless a formal notification to change the accounting reference date has been made to the Companies House registrar in accordance with section 392 of the Companies Act 2006.

In all cases the company’s notification must be made no later than the period for filing accounts with Companies House, see SAOG13400.