Accounts and tax returns for private limited companies

Overview

After the end of its financial year, your private limited company must prepare:

You need your accounts and tax return to meet deadlines for filing with Companies House and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

You can also use them to work out how much Corporation Tax to pay.

Action Deadline
File first accounts with Companies House 21 months after the date you registered with Companies House
File annual accounts with Companies House 9 months after your company’s financial year ends
Pay Corporation Tax or tell HMRC that your limited company does not owe any 9 months and 1 day after your ‘accounting period’ for Corporation Tax ends
File a Company Tax Return 12 months after your accounting period for Corporation Tax ends

Your accounting period for Corporation Tax is the time covered by your Company Tax Return. It’s normally the same 12 months as the company financial year covered by your annual accounts.

Filing your accounts and tax return

You can file with Companies House and HMRC together or separately.

You must take additional steps:

Apply to extend your accounts filing deadline

You can apply to extend your accounts filing deadline with Companies House if you cannot send your accounts because of an event that’s outside of your control - for example, if a fire has destroyed company records before your filing deadline.

You must apply for the extension before your filing deadline.

Apply online

You can apply to extend your accounts filing deadline online.

To apply online you’ll need:

  • your company number
  • information about why you need more time
  • any documents to support your applications

Apply by post

You can write to Companies House to apply for an extension. You should explain what’s happened and how much more time you’ll need to file your accounts.

You must apply to the correct office where your company is registered.

Companies House England and Wales
Crown Way
Cardiff
CF14 3UZ
DX 33050 Cardiff

Companies House Scotland
4th Floor
Edinburgh Quay 2
139 Fountainbridge
Edinburgh
EH3 9FF
DX ED235 Edinburgh 1

Companies House Northern Ireland
2nd Floor
The Linenhall
32-38 Linenhall Street
Belfast
BT2 8BG
DX481 N.R. Belfast 1