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When are my Annual Accounts Due?

Posted 25 Jan 16

As a small business director, you will be responsible for filing documents required by HMRC and Companies House by the deadline set.


It is crucial to remember that even if your company is non-trading or dormant, every year you will be required to file your accounts. Understanding which documents you need to deliver and when is essential in avoiding any problems, including prosecution in criminal courts resulting in large personal fines and possible disqualification from the role of director in the future. Not knowing the law doesn’t mean you are not subjected to it. Fortunately, there is a way of determining when your annual accounts are due. In this article we will take a look at the process of filing your company’s documents.

One of the things are clients are often confused with is distinguishing their companies’ annual accounts from their Annual Return. Although, they sound similar and both need to be filed annually with Companies House, they differ in their content and the deadlines you must deliver them by.

Your company’s annual accounts are used to provide details of a business activity over the accounting period (in the majority cases, a year).

The annual accounts include:

A profit and loss account
A balance sheet
Notes explaining the accounts
A director’s report
An auditor’s report


On the other hand, the Annual Return is used to provide a general overview of your company, including:

The company’s officers
Principal business activities
Registered office address
Shareholders
Share capital


In order to determine the deadline for submitting your annual accounts to Companies House, you must know your company’s accounting reference date. When you first form and register your company, the accounting reference date is automatically set as the first anniversary of the last day in the month in which the company was incorporated. The accounting reference date can be change, depending on the circumstances.

The deadline for annual accounts in the case of a private limited company might be different from a public limited company, however, in this article we will only focus on the first case.

If you are submitting your very first accounts since incorporation and they cover less than 12 months, you will need to file them within 9 months of your Accounting Reference Date. If the new accounts cover more than 12 months, you will need to file within 21 months of the date of incorporation or 3 months of the Accounting Reference Date, depending on which one is longer. If you have previously filed your annual accounts, you need to file within 9 months of your Accounting Reference Date.

The easiest and safest way to avoid any confusion when dealing with annual accounts and Annual Returns is by hiring a professional accountant, who will ensure all your documents and records are delivered on time and kept safe and ready for investigation at all times throughout the year. At Tawanda Accountants we pride ourselves for the superior accounting and bookkeeping services we offer our clients. If you would like to know how we can help you save money and time, contact us today and we will make sure you can put all your focus on developing your business.