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Company filing dates and reasonable excuses

Company filing dates and reasonable excuses

Louise Hastings

The statutory filing date for a Corporation Tax return is twelve months after the end of the relevant accounting period. However, you must usually pay corporation tax on profits from doing business no later than 9 months and one day after the end of your accounting period where you are:
  • A limited company
  • Any foreign company with a UK branch or office
  • A club, co-operative or other unincorporated association e.g. a community group or sports club 
If you miss the deadline but have a reasonable excuse then HMRC will consider it. HMRC considers a reasonable excuse to be something that stops a company from meeting a tax obligation despite them having taken reasonable care to meet that obligation. HMRC will consider what a reasonable person, who wanted to meet their obligation, would have done in the same circumstances. 

Whether a company has a reasonable excuse will depend on the circumstances in which the failure occurred. What is a reasonable excuse for one company may not be a reasonable excuse for another company. The company must remedy the failure to file as soon as it can reasonably be expected to do so after the excuse has ended.

HMRC have published examples off what might be considered a reasonable excuse. They include:
  • One director runs the company, and he (or an immediate family member) dies or suffers a sudden and serious illness close to the filing date. Alternatively, the director has a prolonged and serious illness throughout much of the return period.
  • Unavoidable and unexpected absence abroad of the responsible director close to the deadline because of business commitments or domestic emergency.
  • Accidental destruction of the records through fire or flood.
  • Service issues with HMRC online services
  • Your computer or software failed just before or while you were preparing your online return
  • Postal delays you could not have predicted
  • Delays relating to a disability you have
  • Coronavirus (Covid-19)-need to explain in your appeal how you were affected
Moore (South) will be able to assist you with filing your corporation tax, if you require assistance please contact a Moore (South) adviser.