There’s lots to juggle in your first year running your limited company. Here are some common questions answered, and to show you what to expect in your first year.
How do I get a UTR number?
Your UTR is a 10 digit number that HMRC assigns to a company for corporation tax. It’s the “unique taxpayer reference”. When you first register your company with Companies House, HMRC should issue you a UTR number through the post within 14 days.
You will probably also have a UTR for personal tax – so just keep in mind that your company UTR is different! Write them both down – Keep them safe – Tell your accountant!
Don’t panic if you’ve lost your UTR, you can request that HMRC post it again here. https://www.gov.uk/find-lost-utr-number
When do I register for corporation tax?
Once you have set up the Limited company, you’ll need to register for Corporation tax within 3 months of when you start trading. You can do this online through your online tax account (also known as your government gateway account).
If we are incorporating your company for you, we’ll register you for corporation tax at the same time.
Your first set of accounts
It’s quite common that your first set of accounts cover a period that’s more than 12 months.
For example, if your company was set up on 11 May 2021, its year end will be 31 May. The first year end would be 31st May 2022. So your company’s first accounts will cover 12 months and 3 weeks.
In following years, your accounts will normally cover your company’s financial year from 1 June to 31 May.
Your first set of accounts are due 21 months after you first incorporated the company. So in this example, the company was set up on 11th May 2021, so the due date for accounts would be 10th February 2023.
Your first corporation tax return
Your corporation tax return will cover the same period as your accounts. However a corporation tax return cannot be longer than 12 months, so often if it’s your first year, you’ll have to file 2 corporation tax returns to cover the first period.
Following the same example above. The 2 tax return periods would be:
- 11th May 2021- 10th May 2022 (1 full year)
- 11th May 2022 – 31st May 2022 (3 weeks)
If you have corporation tax to pay, this will be apportioned over the 2 periods, and you’ll have 2 payment due dates too. You’ll have 9 months & 1 day after each period to pay any corporation tax.
Although the due date for accounts and tax returns may differ slightly, in reality we’ll complete them together at the same time.
What will my year end accounts show?
Your year end accounts will show a profit and loss report showing your income and expenses, and a balance sheet which shows details of the assets and liabilities in the business.
This is your full set of accounts – and are for your eyes only! Or whoever you’d like to show off to about what a fantastic year you’ve had!
When we file your corporation tax return, a digital copy of the accounts gets sent to HMRC too.
If you’re after a loan, banks will want to see your full year end accounts. Same with mortgages or investors.
Who can see my year end accounts?
The statutory accounts will be on public record at Companies House. This means anyone can look up your company and view the statutory accounts. We call this set of accounts the “filleted accounts”, as it doesn’t go into the same level of detail that your full year end accounts do. Your filleted accounts only show a balance sheet and the required disclosures.
So don’t worry – anyone who looks up the company online, won’t be able to see your profit levels, unless you choose to send them your full year end accounts.