Saturday, 20 August 2011

Company Filing Requirements

Q: I have just set up a company.  Please walk me through the filing requirements I will have for the company.

a)  Firstly, there is the Annual Return.
This is a snapshot of general information about a company's directors, secretary (where one has been appointed), registered office address, shareholders and share capital. The return covers the first twelve months from the date of incorporation and is submitted annually thereafter. On each anniversary, you have 28 days to submit the return to the Companies House. It is a criminal offence not to do so and the officers and the company may be prosecuted for late delivery. There is a filing fee of £14 for electronic filing and £40 if filing on paper.

b)  Then there are the company's accounts.
Your first set of accounts will need to be filed with the Companies House within 21 months of the date of incorporation. Thereafter, they will need to be filed within 9 months of the ‘accounting reference date’ (effectively the company’s year end), unless you subsequently change the accounting reference date. There is no fee for filing the accounts.

c)  The company will also need to pay any corporation tax it owes. This will need to be paid to HM Revenue & Customs nine months and one day from the accounting reference date.

d)  The company will also need to submit its corporation tax return to HM Revenue & Customs. This is due twelve months after the accounting reference date. There is no filing fee for this either.

Please note that any changes to the company’s accounting reference date can affect some of these deadlines, and they will vary from the rules given above.

As you’re just starting out in business, you may find it useful to speak to an accountant. For further advice, please feel free to contact me as follows.

Linda C F Ngo FCCA

Friday, 19 August 2011

Bookkeeping - What are my obligations to record-keeping?

Q: I have just started my own business having been made redundant from my last job. I have registered with HMRC as self-employed, but could you tell me what my obligations are with regards to record-keeping for HMRC?

A: Under current legislation, business owners must retain their records for 6 years. Payroll records, CIS records and personal tax return information may be retained for less.

HMRC provide no rules regarding the format of the records, but as a minimum they should include all sales and purchase invoices.

Ultimately, the most important factor is that you keep accurate, timely records. So these could be anything from manual cashbooks, to computerised spreadsheets, to a sophisticated computerised bookkeeping package.

Penalties will apply if HMRC ever enquired into your affairs and found no evidence to back up the figures in your income tax or VAT returns. HMRC are also clamping down on poor records, and can impose fines in severe cases where the records are felt to be inadequate and inaccurate.

For advice on finding the right bookkeeping solution for you and more detail on your obligations, please feel free to contact me as follows.

Linda C F Ngo FCCA