FID Trust International

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

  1. full (‘statutory’) annual accounts,
  2. a Company Tax Return.

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

When you file your tax return, you work out your:

  1. profit or loss for Corporation Tax (this is different from the profit or loss shown in your annual accounts),
  2. Corporation Tax bill.

You can either get an accountant to prepare and file your tax return or do it yourself.

If you have a limited company, you may be able to file your accounts with Companies House at the same time as your tax return.

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

You must keep:

  1. Records about the company itself, financial and accounting records. You can hire a professional (eg an accountant) to help with your tax. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) may check your records to make sure you’re paying the right amount of tax.
  2. Records about the company. You must keep details of: directors, shareholders and company secretaries, the results of any shareholder votes and resolutions promises for the company to repay loans at a specific date in the future (‘debentures’) and who they must be paid back to, promises the company makes for payments if something goes wrong and it’s the company’s fault (‘indemnities’), transactions when someone buys shares in the company loans or mortgages secured against the company’s assets.
  3. You must tell Companies House if you keep the records somewhere other than the company’s registered office address.
  4. Accounting records - You must keep accounting records that include: all money received and spent by the company, details of assets owned by the company, debts the company owes or is owed, stock that the company owns at the end of the financial year, the stock takings you used to work out the stock figure, all goods bought and sold who you bought and sold them to and from (unless you run a retail business). You must also keep any other financial records, information and calculations you need to complete your Company Tax Return. This includes records of all money: spent by the company, eg receipts, petty cash books, orders and delivery notes received by the company, eg invoices, contracts, sales books and till rolls.

You must also keep any other relevant documents, eg bank statements and correspondence.

If you don’t keep accounting records, you can be fined £3,000 by HMRC or disqualified as a company director.

You must keep records for at least 6 years from the end of the last company financial year they relate to. You may need to keep records longer if: they show a transaction that covers more than one of the company’s accounting periods or the company has bought something that it expects to last more than 6 years, like equipment or machinery.

If you can’t replace your records after they were lost, stolen or destroyed you must: do your best to recreate them and tell your Corporation Tax office straight away. Check recent tax forms or letters from HMRC for the address of your tax office or call the helpline. Tell HMRC when you file your Company Tax Return if you’re using: ‘estimated figures’ (your best guess when you can’t provide the actual figures) ‘provisional figures’ (your estimate until you confirm the actual figures - tell HMRC when you’ll provide the actual figures).

You must send Companies House a company annual return every year, within 28 days of the anniversary of the company’s incorporation. You can send the company annual return online. It costs £13 to send online. You can also fill in and send the company annual return on paper using form AR01. It costs £40 if you want to send paper forms.

If you miss the deadline, Companies House can close down your company or prosecute you. You could also be disqualified from being a company director.

The company annual return must include details of:

  1. the company’s registered office address,
  2. what type of business the company runs (eg retail, accountancy, catering),
  3. the address where the company’s list of shareholders is kept,
  4. the type of limited company (eg limited by shares, limited by guarantee),
  5. name and address of all company directors (and company secretary if you have one),
  6. the number and value of shares issued by the company and who owns them,
  7. where details of ‘debentures’ (a type of loan the company has taken out with a promise to repay at a specific time in the future) are kept.

You can appoint someone to deal with HMRC on your behalf, eg an accountant, friend or relative.

If you have to fill in a Self Assessment tax return, HMRC will send all correspondence to the person you’ve authorised - except tax bills or refunds. Otherwise, HMRC will continue to write to you.

If you just need someone to help you with your Self Assessment in the short term, you can call HMRC. The person who’s helping you must be with you when you call - HMRC will confirm their identity and check that you’re happy for them to represent you.

Authorize an agent to handle your tax affairs, an agent can be:

  1. a professional accountant or tax adviser,
  2. a friend or relative,
  3. someone from a voluntary organisation.

To appoint an agent to deal with your tax, ask them to use HMRC’s online authorization service or complete form 64-8 and send it to HMRC. You can appoint a VAT agent using VAT online services. Your trusted helper can: check you’re paying the right amount of Income Tax, check or update your personal tax account, claim a tax refund and check or update your company car tax.

Please contact us by telephone 0207 439 3400 (0044 207 439 3400 – International) or E-mail if you wish as to be your Authorised Agent.