Tax and other deadlines

Deadlines are a fact of business life, and most businesses will be to some extent deadline-driven

Apart from any deadlines imposed by customers or suppliers, businesses also need to be mindful of filing and other legislative requirements.

Limited companies and limited liability partnerships are required to file accounts at Companies House.

For accounting periods starting on or after 6 April 2008, private companies have nine months from the year end in which to file accounts with the Registrar. Public companies have six months.

Increased late-filing penalties have applied from 1 February 2009, so that a private company filing accounts up to one month late will face a penalty of £150. If accounts are filed late in two consecutive years, the amount of the penalty doubles.

From 1 October 2009, there is no longer a 14-day ‘period of grace’ if accounts are rejected by Companies House. So, if a company files very close to the filing deadline date, and those accounts are rejected, the same deadline will still stand, that is to say nine months from the period end.

If the amended accounts are not filed by that date, the penalty will be due.

Companies House deadlines are very simple in comparison to the far more complex position with HMRC. In relation to tax, there are filing deadlines, payment deadlines and also deadlines in relation to notifications.

The deadlines vary from tax to tax, and the penalties can quickly start to accumulate if a return is filed late, or a payment is not made on time.

There are three key dates in relation to filing self assessment income tax returns.

Paper returns have to be filed by 31 October, while online filing has to be done by 31 January following the year of assessment.

If any tax due is to be recovered via an amended notice of coding, the return has to be filed by 30 December.

Corporation tax returns have to be filed within 12 months of the end of the accounting period, and P11Ds by 6 July each year. P35s have to be submitted by 19 May each year.

The concession (ESC B46) allowing an extra seven days (in effect extending the deadline to 26 May) was withdrawn from 31 March 2011; all P35s now have to be filed online (since 6 April 2011), and the concession was to allow for postal delays. 

Conversely, paper VAT returns have to be filed by the end of the month after the return date, while online filers are given an extra seven days.

The VAT return filing deadline is extended to two months for tax payers using the annual accounting scheme, but online filers do not get an extra seven days.