Many of our customers register companies with the sole intention of not trading whilst others may find that they had intended to start business but due to unforeseen circumstances the start was delayed and the company remains in its dormant state from the time of incorporation.
Even though a company has not traded and is classed as dormant the company directors still have a responsibility to file documents at Companies house and HMRC.
What documents need to be filed?
Annual Return - AR01
The annual return is submitted every 12 months shortly after the company’s anniversary. This date can be changed by filing the annual return early but in general the AR01 should be filed in the same period ever year. The annual return captures the details of the company at the time the document is filed. It records the registered office, secretary and director details, shareholders and share structure, and other related information.
It costs £14 to file this document electronically with Companies House. You can file the annual return using a paper form but it is more expensive and takes longer to complete and process.
Within the first few weeks of starting a new company HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will contact the company to provide the corporation tax reference. They will also request some basic information regarding the company’s activities. On this form you can inform them the company is dormant but should you start business you will inform the within 3 months of trading.
Every year your company should file a tax return to HMRC. This document is the CT600. If your company has not traded during the financial year then a zero return can be filed. Enter zeros in the boxes that are relevant, a director can then sign the form and post it to the correct tax office. The CT600 needs to be filed within 9 months of the company’s anniversary very year. Failure to file this form may lead to penalties from HMRC.
There is no charge to file a dormant tax return with HMRC.
All companies, even dormant ones, need to file accounts at Companies House. There are strict deadlines for filing the accounts every year and late filing can lead to increasing penalties. Even dormant companies are issued with late filing penalties. Dormant accounts can be filled online using Companies House web filing service. Alternatively you can post form AA02 to Companies House.
There is no charge to file dormant accounts at Companies House.
Please note that if you fail to file accounts or your annual return Companies House may take action to strike your company from the register. They may also take action against the company directors but this most unusual and companies are normally just dissolved with no further action taken.
If you need any assistance filing your company documents then please contact us for our latest charges.