Please note: if you use or plan to use an accountant, agent or tax adviser to file your Company Tax Return, then your agent must be authorised to use Corporation Tax Online on your behalf
This guide will give you an overview of HM Revenue & Customs' (HMRC's) Corporation Tax Online, including setting up an online account and enrolling for the service - if you aren’t enrolled already - and what the service offers.
On this page:
You can use Corporation Tax online to:
Most limited companies that are active at the time they register at Companies House use the Companies House online joint registration service to supply additional statutory information to HMRC. Alternatively, you may have supplied this information to HMRC on paper. In both these circumstances you will need to sign up and enrol for Corporation Tax Online to file your return online. Follow the link immediately below to do this now.
If you weren't able to - or chose not to - send some or all of the information you are required to tell HMRC using the Companies House service, you can use HMRC's online registration service to do this now. If you use this service, you are automatically enrolled for Corporation Tax Online and do not need to enrol separately. If you wish to use the service to send the additional statutory information to HMRC, follow the link below for more information.
Please note: You must have a separate Government Gateway account (User ID and Password) for each company that you want to register with HMRC for Corporation Tax. This will allow HMRC to automatically enrol the company for CT Online once your registration application has been processed.
If you run a club or other organisation that has to file a Company Tax Return, you have to file your return online. To do this you must have enrolled for Corporation Tax Online.
If you're already set up as a company or unincorporated organisation for other HMRC online services - such as PAYE for Employers or VAT - you can easily add Corporation Tax Online to your existing account. To do this:
You can file your return online using HMRC's free online filing software, commercially available software, or software you've developed or had developed for you. Commercial software or your own software may offer greater flexibility for your company.
HMRC's online filing software - which is a downloadable PDF - is aimed at smaller companies and organisations with straightforward financial affairs.
After you've downloaded HMRC's online filing software, you'll need to change some computer settings on Adobe Reader to allow you to use all the features of the software and send your data safely to HMRC.
Once you've done this, you can use HMRC's software to file:
HMRC's software also includes:
Follow the links below to find more information about who can use HMRC's software and a beginner's guide to using it to file your Company Tax Return.
Commercial software may be better suited to your company or organisation's circumstances as it generally offers greater flexibility and choice of Company Tax Return supplementary pages. If you do choose commercial software, you'll need to check with your supplier that it meets the HMRC requirement to produce accounts and computations in iXBRL format.
HMRC provides a validation service to help software companies test their products. If they're successful, HMRC adds them to its list of successfully tested software packages.
As soon as the HMRC computer system receives your online return, it automatically records the date received. You will be given confirmation on screen that you have been successful in sending your return to HMRC, including the date and time of receipt. The screen will also include a unique submission receipt reference number. HMRC recommends that you keep a copy of your saved submitted return and submission receipt reference number.
Please note: confirmation that you have successfully sent your return to HMRC is not confirmation that HMRC has ‘accepted' or 'examined and agreed' your return.
You can use HMRC's online filing software to amend your Company Tax Return. You can do this whether you submitted the original return using HMRC's own filing software or commercial software, or even if (by exception) you sent it to HMRC on paper. But how you do this depends on what method you used.
To amend a return that you filed using HMRC's online filing software, open the copy that you saved after submitting the original return.
You will see that the 'Introduction' page in the application now says 'Welcome back' and confirms the date and time you submitted your return. This page also shows the link, 'Amend your return'. Follow this link and you'll be presented with the return you submitted to HMRC and can make your amendment. There's on-screen help to guide you through the process. You can do this up to twelve times online using HMRC's software.
If you used commercial software to file your return, please check with your software provider if you're not sure how to amend it. If they don't offer an amendment feature, you can use the HMRC filing software. You'll need to download the software and then make your amendment for the same accounting period - but you'll have to enter all the data again in this form.
All amendments, regardless of format, must be made within the time limit allowed.
You can view online how much Corporation Tax your company or organisation has paid, been repaid or still owes. You can also see a history of all Corporation Tax payments you've made or repayments made to you by HMRC.
You can also choose to create a Business Tax Dashboard to view the balance of your Corporation Tax and VAT and PAYE accounts on a single page. This is a 'view only' service and the dashboard does not enable you to reallocate any payments between the different taxes.
Before you can set up a dashboard for the online services you have signed up for, you must activate your Corporation Tax online service.
As you can only view details for one company on your dashboard, this service is not suitable for groups of companies.
Limited companies can update the following details either through Corporation Tax Online or your Business Tax Dashboard:
Unincorporated organisations such as clubs or associations can update the following details either through Corporation Tax Online or the Business Tax Dashboard.:
Any online changes you make will normally be updated within 48 hours (this may take slightly longer over a weekend or bank holiday.)
If you've appointed a tax adviser or an accountant to act as your authorised agent to deal with HMRC on your behalf for Corporation Tax matters, they can let HMRC know about any changes using Corporation Tax Online. You can add, change or remove your authorised agent online.
Companies House and HMRC provide a joint filing service that allows most companies with relatively straightforward financial affairs to file their statutory accounts (as part of their Company Tax Return to HMRC) and send these (or an abbreviated version) to Companies House using a 'one stop' online facility.
HMRC has an Online Services Helpdesk answer any queries about Corporation Tax Online.