Filing accounts for a limited company: A checklist for business owners

10 min read

If you’re the director of a limited company, there are certain filing rules that HMRC expects you to know about.
Any UK-registered company must annually report key details about the company, the people behind it, its assets and liabilities, and its annual transactions to HMRC and Companies House. 
You’ll need to use specific forms, follow the exact guidelines, and stick to the deadlines stipulated. And as you probably already know, any delays in filing accounts for a limited company can lead to hefty penalties.
Luckily, it isn’t that hard!
Limited company accounts have a few basic components, and the HMRC website includes clear instructions for each. Work your way around the forms several times, and you’ll soon be breezing through them.

Annual accounts

What it is

Every year, you must submit a set of your company accounts to Companies House. These accounts are due within nine months of the end of your company’s accounting period. However, if you only recently started your company, the due date is within 18 months of the incorporation date (if this is earlier).

What it includes

The year-end accounts you submit to Companies House depend on your limited company’s size.
  • Big companies need to submit complete statutory accounts.
  • Small companies need to submit abridged accounts.
  • Micro-entities must submit micro-entity accounts, which are even more basic than abridged accounts.
Ask Golding Accountancy about which category your limited company can file under.

Fines for delays

HMRC charges the following penalties for delayed submission of accounts:
  • One month after the deadline – £150
  • One to three months after the deadline – £375
  • Three to six months after the deadline – £750
  • More than six months after the deadline – £1,500
Plus, the fines will double if you’re late in filing accounts for a limited company two years in a row.

Points to remember for filing accounts for a limited company

You’ll have to prepare and file your annual accounts even if your company is dormant. These are usually very basic.

Confirmation statement

What it is

This is a statement (form CS01) that you must submit every year to Companies House within 28 days of the anniversary of your company’s incorporation date. It confirms that the information available about a limited company on the public register is correct and up-to-date. 
Even if your details haven’t been changed from the ones you shared in a previous year, you need to confirm this by filing form CS01.

What it includes

HMRC asks for the following in a confirmation statement:
  • What the limited company does, including standard industrial classification (SIC) codes
  • Type of company, i.e. whether public or private
  • Registered company address
  • The single alternative inspection location (SAIL), if the company records aren’t at the primary address
  • Company email address
  • Details of company directors and company secretary
  • Details of people with significant control (PSCs)
  • Details of shareholders
  • Statement of capital, i.e. issued shares
  • Trading status of shares

Fines for delays

There’s no specific late fee for the confirmation statement, but if you’re consistently late, HMRC could fine you up to £5,000.

Points to remember regarding the confirmation statement

First things first: it’s a replacement for the Annual Return.
You’ll pay a fee to submit the confirmation statement to Companies House. It’s £13 for online filing and £40 for paper filing. Any updates to your statement of capital, shareholder/share details or SIC codes can be done on form CS01 itself.
However, if there are changes to other details, you’ll have to update other relevant forms before or at the same time as filing CS01. Ask your accountant to help you with this.

Corporate tax return

What it is

The corporation tax return (CT600) must be filed 12 months after your company’s accounting period ends. Any corporation tax due needs to be paid within nine months and one day after the end of your accounting period.

What it includes

When filling out CT600, you need to include details of your corporation tax profit or loss. Note that this will be different from the profit or loss you mention in your annual accounts. You’ll need to prepare your corporation tax bill.

Fines for delays

HMRC charges the following penalties for delayed CT600 returns:
  • One day after the deadline – £100
  • Three months after the deadline – another £100
  • Six months after the deadline – your corporate tax due amount plus 10% of any unpaid tax
  • 12 months – another 10% of any unpaid tax

Points to remember when filing your corporation tax return

Even if you don’t have any corporation tax due or if your company made a loss that year, you still need to file CT600.
Bear in mind that when filing accounts for a limited company, your accounting period cannot be longer than 12 months for tax purposes.
So, if your company happens to follow an accounting period of more than 12 months, you’ll have two periods for corporate tax returns with the due and payment dates adjusted accordingly. Ask an accountant to help you figure this out.

VAT returns

If you are VAT registered, this is an extra component to remember when filing accounts for a limited company. You’ll submit this quarterly at the end of the month after the relevant quarter.

PAYE returns

If your company pays wages and/or salaries, you’ll register under Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and fulfil the relevant requirements (ask your payroll administrator for help). This also applies if you have directors who are paid a salary through payroll.


Learn how to ensure compliance in payroll accounting as an employer.

Private limited company registration

When setting up a new business, it’s important to understand the documents required for private limited company registration. Private limited company registration involves submitting various business incorporation documents to Companies House.
One of the most critical steps is obtaining the certificate of incorporation of a private limited company, which serves as the official proof of your company registration. This certificate, along with the company registration certificate, must be filed with the relevant authorities.
The incorporation certificate from Companies House is essential as it legally recognizes your company’s existence. Ensuring that you have all the necessary documents for incorporation will help streamline the setup process and ensure compliance with UK regulations.

Over to you

We hope this breakdown helped you understand your filing requirements a little better. Remember that as the director, you’re responsible for ensuring your company meets these requirements and that any change to the company details is reported promptly.
As always, filing accounts for a limited company can feel daunting when you do it alone, so we recommend getting a professional to help.
Our team at Golding Accountancy knows UK company law in and out and would be delighted to help you complete your filing on time, every time. We’re reliable, friendly, and approachable. Whatever your doubts, we’ll be there to help and more!
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