Deadlines and requirements for Corporation Tax

If your company or organisation is liable for Corporation Tax, you must tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) that it's liable, pay any Corporation Tax that's due and file a Company Tax Return on time.

You may have to do this even if your company or organisation is not active or is dormant or has no Corporation Tax to pay. If you don't, your company or organisation may have to pay a penalty or may be charged interest.

This guide will explain what your company or organisation needs to do for Corporation Tax and when.

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Deadlines for telling HMRC your company or organisation is active

Limited companies

Starting up a new limited company that's active

HMRC sends a newly formed limited company form CT41G (Corporation Tax - Information for New Companies) within a few days of the company being registered at Companies House. This form is usually sent by post to your company's registered office. However, even if you don't receive this form you must still tell HMRC within three months of your company becoming active, for example by starting business activity or starting to trade. The best way to do this is to use HMRC's online service.

Read more about HMRC's online registration service

Starting up a new limited company that's not yet active

If your new limited company is dormant - in other words, it's not yet active, carrying on business activity, or trading - you'll need to tell HMRC if your company becomes active within three months of it happening. The best way to do this is to use HMRC's online service.

Trading and non-trading for Corporation Tax explained

More on HMRC's online registration service

When an existing limited company becomes dormant

If your company stops trading or is not active, you need to tell your Corporation Tax Office, as soon as possible, in writing, that your company is dormant. HMRC will send your company a 'Notice to deliver a Company Tax Return' for the period up to the date your company became dormant. From the date your company becomes dormant, HMRC will stop treating your company as active and you won't receive unnecessary correspondence.

Find your Corporation Tax Office

Starting up an organisation that's active

Organisations that are not registered at Companies House - for example members' clubs, Community Amateur Sports clubs or associations - must also tell HMRC that they are active but there are some exceptions.

Find out whether your club or association is liable for Corporation Tax

When a dormant company or organisation becomes active

If your limited company or organisation was dormant and is now active, you must tell HMRC. The best way to do this is to use HMRC's online service.

Go to HMRC's online registration service

Read more about HMRC's online registration service

Alternatively you can provide the information about your company to HMRC in writing.

Find out what information you need to tell to HMRC

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Your Corporation Tax payment is due before your Company Tax Return

Unlike Income Tax Self Assessment or VAT, where the dates for filing returns and making payments are usually the same, the deadline for paying Corporation Tax is before the deadline for filing your Company Tax Return.

The following sections tell you what you need to do and when.

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Deadlines for paying Corporation Tax

Your Corporation Tax payment deadline is known as the 'normal due date'. Your actual payment deadline can vary depending on how much taxable profit your company or organisation makes.

All companies and organisations must pay their Corporation Tax electronically.

More on paying Corporation Tax electronically

Payment deadlines if your company or organisation's taxable profits are £1.5 million or less

If your company or organisation has taxable profits of up to £1.5 million, you must pay your Corporation Tax by the normal due date, which is nine months and one day after the end of your Corporation Tax accounting period. For example, if your company's accounting period ends on 31 May, your Corporation Tax payment is due on or before 1 March the following year.

Find out more about taxable profits for Corporation Tax and how they are calculated

Payment deadlines if your company or organisation's taxable profits are more than £1.5 million

If your company's profits for an accounting period are at an annual rate of more than £1.5 million, you must normally pay your Corporation Tax for that period in instalments.

Instalment payments for Corporation Tax

Payment deadlines for groups of companies

If you operate a group of companies, you can nominate one of them to pay Corporation Tax on behalf of all of them.

Group Payment Arrangements for Corporation Tax

What happens if you don't pay your Corporation Tax on time?

If you pay late your company or organisation will be charged interest on what you owe. You may want to manage your cash flow and file your Company Tax Return early taking this into account.

Managing your cash flow to pay Corporation Tax on time

What to do if you can't pay Corporation Tax

How HMRC collects unpaid Tax

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Deadlines for filing your Company Tax Return

You must normally file your company or organisation's Company Tax Return - which includes a Company Tax Return form and other supporting documentation - within 12 months of the end of your company or organisation's Corporation Tax accounting period. Your Company Tax Return filing deadline is known as your 'statutory filing date'.

If you file your return late your company or organisation will be charged an automatic penalty, even if it does not owe any Corporation Tax.

Virtually all companies and organisations must submit their Company Tax Returns online. Additionally your tax computations and, with very few exceptions, the accounts that form part of your Company Tax Return, must be submitted in Inline eXtensible Business Reporting Language (iXBRL) format.

More about preparing to file your Company Tax Return

Find out more about HMRC Corporation Tax accounting periods

Corporation Tax penalties

What counts as a reasonable excuse for filing your online return late

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More useful links

Corporation Tax glossary

File returns and manage your Corporation Tax account online

How to pay Corporation Tax

Group Payment Arrangements for Corporation Tax

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