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Finances and tax

End of year tax checklist for small businesses

4 min read

If you run a private limited company, you may need to complete end of year accountsas part of your tax obligations. You may be slightly apprehensive if you’re submitting these year end documents for the first time, but as we hope to explain in this guide, it doesn’t have to be such a head-scratcher.

Your end of year accounts checklist

Before we examine how to file end of year accounts in detail, here’s a quick summary of your responsibilities as a limited company director. You can appoint an accountant or tax adviser to help with this to-do list:

  1. Submit your business’s first accounts to Companies House.
  2. Send the annual accounts (also known as statutory accounts) to Companies House.
  3. Submit a Company Tax Return to HMRC.
  4. Pay Corporation Tax to HMRC or confirm with them that no tax is due.

What are end of year accounts?

Your end of year accounts are a summary of your company’s financial performance for its latest accounting period and financial year. Legally, as a limited company director you will need to submit ‘year end accounts’ to Companies House and HMRC, such as your annual accounts and Company Tax Return, which comprise part of your financial reporting.

End of year account documents

There are various documents you will need to include when submitting your end of year accounts.

Your Company Tax Return, often referred to as the CT600 form, should be sent to HMRC. It includes information such as your company’s income, expenses, profit and tax allowances. After submitting this return, HMRC will calculate your Corporation Tax liability, which is based on any profit you make .

The annual accounts, submitted to Companies House, include a number of elements such as:

  • Your Income Statement. This displays the profit (and any losses) your business made during its latest accounting period and is sometimes called a P&L (profit and loss) account.
  • Balance sheet. Also known as the Statement of Financial Position, this provides a summary of the business’s assets and liabilities for the latest accounting period.
  • Director’s report. This is a report written by the company director(s) on how well the company is performing and its future prospects.
  • Notes. This is an opportunity to provide further details or clarification on other sections of the report .

Every company, whether trading or dormant, must also submit a confirmation statement to Companies House on an annual basis, which confirms that company details are correct.

The due date for this submission is a year after either your incorporation date or the date of the previous statement, and while the timing is different to the annual accounts, the confirmation statement is just as important.

What is my accounting year?

Your ‘accounting year’, often referred to as the accounting period, is the length of time covered by your Company Tax Return. It runs for a maximum of 12 months until your ‘year end’ and is set according to whichever date you choose to prepare your accounts each year. Your first year’s accounts will start from the incorporation date of your company, but following this, some businesses like to match their accounting year with the financial year, which runs from April 1st in one year to March 31st in the next.

How do you file end of year accounts?

You will need to prepare and submit your end of year accounts (the annual accounts and Company Tax Return) to Companies House and HMRC before their deadlines – more on that later.

There are other reporting duties that can help you file your year end accounts, such as accurate bookkeeping. If applicable, it may be convenient to submit your VAT return at the same time as your accounts. Moreover, if you run a staff payroll, it’s important these details are correct – such as making the right deductions – before you submit the end of year accounts.

If all that sounds taxing, remember that you can appoint an accountant or tax adviser to file your year end accounts on your behalf .

When do end of year accounts need to be filed?

Not every business has the same end of year accounts deadline, so you may wish to keep a note of your key dates as follows:

  • · Your business’s first accounts should be filed with Companies House 21 months after the date you registered with them.
  • Your annual accounts should be filed with Companies House nine months after your company’s financial year ends.
  • Your deadline to pay Corporation Tax or inform HMRC that your company does not owe any, is generally nine months and one day after your accounting period ends.
  • The deadline to file a Company Tax Return is 12 months after your accounting period ends.

More guidance on money matters

Not everyone wakes up in the morning and looks forward to submitting a tax return but getting your head around your tax responsibilities could save you valuable time in the long run. Once you’ve nailed how to file those end of year accounts, here are some other Tyl Talks articles to get stuck into.


This has been prepared by Tyl by NatWest for informational purposes only and should not be treated as advice or a recommendation. There may be other considerations relevant to you and your business so you should undertake your own independent research.

Tyl by NatWest makes no representation, warranty, undertaking or assurance (express or implied) with respect to the adequacy, accuracy, completeness, or reasonableness of the information provided.

Tyl by NatWest accepts no liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential losses (in contract, tort or otherwise) arising from the use of the information contained herein. However, this shall not restrict, exclude, or limit any duty or liability to any person under any applicable laws or regulations of any jurisdiction which may not be lawfully disclaimed.

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