The prospect of dealing with ‘company accounts’ may seem a daunting one, but when it comes to dormant companies the process need not be a burden.
Think of it this way, a dormant company is one that has had no transactions during the relevant accounting period. When filing company accounts you are showing Companies House that this remains the case. There are no transactions to report and as such the amount of substantive detail you are required to give is actually very limited. Standard forms and a quick and easy online filing process go a long way in helping you stay on track.
What are dormant company accounts?
A dormant company is a company that is registered with Companies House but is not receiving any income. For tax purposes, HMRC considers the company dormant or inactive when calculating corporation tax.
Company accounts: what are they and why does a dormant company need to file them?
Along with the filing of an annual return with Companies House and your duty to inform HMRC that no Corporation Tax is due, the annual filing of company accounts is one of several requirements for keeping a dormant company going. For a handy summary of all of these requirements take a look at our guide: ‘How to stay as a dormant company’.
Regardless of whether or not they are trading all registered companies need to file company accounts with Companies House. The point of these accounts is to report any financial activity of the company for each financial year. In the case of a dormant company, these accounts consist essentially of a balance sheet and any relevant notes. Fortunately, there is a streamlined process for dormant companies that have never traded, incorporating a simple balance sheet.
How to file dormant company accounts
For a dormant company which has never traded, and where the only transaction has been for the issuing of subscriber shares, you need to know how to file dormant company accounts. Dormant accounts can be submitted using form AA02. Completion consists of the following:
- Inserting the company name and number in full.
- Inserting the ‘date of balance sheet’ (the same as the accounting year end, specified by Companies House).
- Confirmation of any called up share capital still due to the company from the shareholders.
- The confirmation of any cash held by the company in cash or in hand.
- Confirmation of the company’s net assets (the sum of called up share capital and cash held).
- The confirmation of any share capital that has been issued to shareholders.
- Confirmation of approval by the directors and date of approval.
If you opt for WebFiling the process is even more straightforward thanks to pre-populated information fields, instant verification that the accounts have been received and speedy confirmation of approval.
When do I have to file dormant company accounts?
You need to file these each year, within 9 months of the company’s anniversary (each company’s due date is therefore different). You are sent reminders but, of course, it’s best practice to make a note of the date yourself. An email reminder system is also available. Also, according to Companies House, those companies who sign up for this are less likely to miss the date.
How much does it cost to file company accounts?
Unlike the annual return filing company accounts is free. The cost arises if you fail to do it on time and are hit by penalties. Non-compliance can lead to a fine and in the event of a serious breach can lead to the company being struck off the register.
What’s the difference between dormant company accounts and the Confirmation Statement?
The ‘Confirmation Statement’ is designed to give a snapshot of current information concerning your company and who’s involved with it. For a dormant company what needs to be covered tends to be straightforward.
The Confirmation Statement is submitted via form CS01, in which you provide a declaration of the following:
- Your registered office address.
- Director details and company secretary details (if you have appointed one).
- Share structure and shareholder details (if relevant).
- Nature of the business – indicated by inserting a numbered SIC code. The appropriate code for dormant companies is 99999.
Fees, due dates and penalties for the annual return
To submit form CS01 using WebFiling the fee is £13. For paper filing, there is a charge of £40.
After the first year, the due date for the Confirmation Statement is the anniversary of the date of incorporation. For all subsequent years, the due date is usually a year after you filed your last return. Finally, you can confirm the Confirmation Statement up to 28 days after the due date.
Company accounts checklist
Company accounts for a dormant company shouldn’t be a hassle. Bear in mind the following:
- Make sure you submit company accounts on time.
- Opt for WebFiling to make things as simple as possible.