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SFS News

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Annual Return or Tax Return?

Confirmation StatementUK companies have several documents to be filed each year. We often hear from customers that confuse the Annual Return with the company’s tax return. So what is the difference between the annual return and the corporation tax return?

Annual Return


The ‘Annual Return’ is a specific term relating to filing your company information with Companies House. The Annual Return was replaced by the confirmation statement at the end of June 2016. It is not a tax document and has no connection to your company accounts or HM Revenue & Customs.

Every year UK registered companies must submit the Confirmation Statement (Form CS01) to Companies House. This can be filed online or in a paper version. This document is submitted on or shortly after the anniversary of your company being registered. However, if you file the form at any other time during the year the filing date will be changed.

The purpose of the Confirmation statement is to update Companies House, the registrar of companies, with the current information relating to your company. You have to provide the following information-

  • Has the company traded shares in a regulated market?
  • Registered office of the company
  • Person of Significant Control (PSC) register
  • Director’s information
  • Secretary information
  • Share Structure (issued shares, values, rights, paid or unpaid)
  • Share holders
  • SIC Code (standard industrial classification – a code identifying the company’s primary activities)

Tax Return


The corporation tax return is a formal tax declaration that must be filed with HM Revenue & Customs every year. Whether your company has traded or not you may be required to file a tax return to HMRC.

This tax return must be completed every year and submitted to HMRC. You normally have 9 months and one day from the company’s year-end to calculate and pay your corporation tax. The tax return should be filed online using the HMRC website.

The tax return should include form CT600, a set of your company’s full statutory accounts (not the abbreviated version) and any supplementary pages or additional tax computations depending on the sections completed within form CT600.

It is generally recommended that you seek assistance from an accountant to file your tax return. Preparing statutory accounts and completing form CT600 is not something that should be completed by a novice to avoid errors.

It is the company director’s responsibility to file both the Companies House Annual Return and the HMRC corporation tax return. Action may be taken against your company and penalties issued for late filing.

Dormant companies


If your company has been carrying on any business activities, trading or receiving an income then HMRC may deem your company is not dormant. If your company has no trading activity and you have filed dormant accounts at Companies House do not assume you do not need to file a tax return.

Directors of dormant companies should write to HMRC when the company is formed or when a corporation tax return is due to inform them that the company is not trading. If the company does start trading HMRC must be informed within the first 3 months.

About the Author Mike Harris
Mike has been helping customers with their company questions for over 15 years through the company Small Firms Services Ltd. You can follow SFS and Mike on Google+ and also twitter