What is a Company Tax Return?

Definition of Company Tax Return

A Company Tax Return is the financial information that most companies file with HMRC each year to report on their earnings, losses, loans and any other factors relevant to their tax liability. Companies use this information to calculate the Corporation Tax that they owe.

A completed Company Tax Return includes:

  • a CT600 form
  • the company's accounts
  • the company’s tax computations
  • any supplementary documentation

A company must complete a Company Tax Return if HMRC issues it with a ‘Notice to Deliver a Company Tax Return’. This usually occurs shortly after the end of a company’s accounting year. The deadline for completing a Company Tax Return is 12 months after the end of the accounting period that it covers.

How to file a Company Tax Return

Companies can file Company Tax Returns with HMRC via its website or by using third-party software such as TaxCalc. Companies can also file their accounts with Companies House at the same time as filing their Company Tax Return, provided that both reports cover the same accounting period. Company Tax Returns can be completed by the company or by an accountant.

Who has to file a Company Tax Return?

Limited companies are required to submit a Company Tax Return after they receive a ‘Notice to deliver a tax return’ from HMRC. Some limited companies may be exempt if HMRC regards them as ‘dormant for Corporation Tax’.

Limited liability partnerships (LLPs) do not normally have to file a Company Tax Return but may have to do so if they are either:

  • not conducting business with a view to making a profit
  • in liquidation
  • being wound up by court order

Sole traders and partners in a partnership do not need to submit a Company Tax Return but must report their earnings to HMRC through Self Assessment.

Disclaimer: The content included in this glossary is based on our understanding of tax law at the time of publication. It may be subject to change and may not be applicable to your circumstances, so should not be relied upon. You are responsible for complying with tax law and should seek independent advice if you require further information about the content included in this glossary. If you don't have an accountant, take a look at our directory to find a FreeAgent Practice Partner based in your local area.

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