Annual Accounts & Company Tax Return: Benefits of Early Filing

Filing your Annual Accounts early offers several advantages: it helps avoid penalties, enhances cash flow management, allows for proactive tax planning, ensures compliance, and supports strategic financial decisions. Early filing can speed up tax refunds!

Looking for a more organised approach to filing your tax return and company accounts, avoiding last-minute stress?

At NRB, we can help alleviate that stress. We believe filing early is not just a best practice but a strategic choice with numerous benefits. This article explores why you should consider filing your accounts early and how it can positively impact your business.

Deadline for Filing Annual Accounts

Filing annual company accounts and tax returns on time is a legal requirement in the UK. Deadlines set by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) vary depending on your business structure, whether you’re a sole trader or a limited company. Understanding these deadlines is crucial for maintaining a good reputation with HMRC and managing your tax liabilities effectively.

Sole Traders

As a sole trader, you must complete a self-assessment tax return annually to calculate Income Tax on your profits. The deadline for filing your return and paying your tax bill is January 31, following the end of the tax year (April 6 to April 5 of the next year).

Filing tax returns early as a sole trader offers several benefits. It provides a clearer understanding of your finances, more time to save for your tax bill, and can expedite tax credit claims or refunds, improving your cash flow.

Our advice: file your return early and set it aside!

Limited Companies

Limited companies in the UK are subject to specific deadlines and obligations for filing annual accounts and tax returns. Statutory accounts must be filed with Companies House annually within nine months after the company’s financial year-end.

Additionally, a Corporation Tax return must be filed with HMRC no later than 12 months after the end of the accounting period it pertains to.

Click here to download our NRB Accounts Year Timeline noting the key deadlines.

How early can you file your accounts?

For limited companies, statutory accounts can be filed with Companies House as soon as the year-end has concluded and your accountant has prepared the reports, even well before the nine-month post-year-end deadline.

Sole traders can submit their self-assessment tax return as early as the day after the tax year ends on April 5.

Benefits of Filing Annual Accounts Early

Submitting your accounts and tax returns ahead of schedule is a strategic move with numerous benefits for your business.

  • Strategic Financial Planning

Filing early provides a clearer picture of your financial health sooner. This insight is invaluable for strategic financial planning, allowing you to make informed decisions about investments, expansions, or scaling back. It helps in forecasting future financial requirements and setting realistic financial goals.

  • Cash Flow Management

Early filing can significantly enhance your cash flow. It provides an early warning of any potential cash shortfalls and allows you to identify surplus cash for reinvestment or debt reduction. Understanding your tax liability earlier lets you plan and allocate resources more effectively.

  • Avoid Penalties

One of the most immediate benefits of early filing is avoiding late penalties. These penalties can escalate quickly and have a significant impact on your finances. Early submission ensures businesses stay ahead of the payment deadline to avoid these unnecessary costs.

  • Ensure Compliance

Adhering to HMRC’s regulations is paramount for any business. Filing your accounts early helps ensure that all your financial affairs are in order, reducing the risk of compliance issues. Furthermore, it provides more time to rectify any account discrepancies or errors.

Consequences for Late Filing

Failing to file your company accounts with HMRC and Companies House on time can lead to significant penalties. Initially, you may incur a fine, which increases until you pay it and submit the necessary documents. You will also accrue interest on the unpaid tax.

Late filing can disrupt cash flow and potentially jeopardise tax credits and refunds. It can also impact your business’s credit rating, making it harder to secure financing or favourable credit terms with suppliers.

In the worst-case scenario, persistent lateness can result in higher penalties and even lead to your company being struck off the register.

It’s crucial to note that these penalties apply even if there is no tax to pay. Even if the tax due is paid on time, you still risk a penalty if you file your return late.

So, once again, we urge you to file your tax return early and forget about it!

Click here to download our NRB overview of Late Filing Penalties.

How NRB can help

The NRB team can ensure you meet your tax and annual accounts obligations, freeing you from last-minute panic. We will help compile your company accounts, liaise with HMRC on your behalf, and plan for your tax payments well in advance of the deadline.

Combined with our Xero bookkeeping and tax planning services, we ensure you have an accurate view of your finances at all times and can plan ahead for your tax liability. You can rely on us to keep your business and personal tax affairs in perfect order, saving you time, stress, and effort.

In conclusion, preparing your Annual Accounts and Company Tax Return requires careful planning, organisation, and attention to detail. Remember, proper preparation is key to a stress-free filing experience.

Therefore, please reach out to your trusted NRB advisor if you have any queries or concerns surrounding the preparation of your Annual Accounts.

As mentioned above, getting your accounts done early is beneficial for you, and it’s beneficial for us, so send your information across to us as soon as possible!

Further Information 

If you would like more information on how NRB can ease the burden of completing your accounts, please contact

Click here to find out more about our services.


Integrity is at the forefront of everything we do as we apply the strongest ethical and moral rigour across how we work and assist our clients.

At NR Barton we understand the importance of trust and through our integrity we make sure this underpins absolutely everything we do.

We like to do the best for our clients and this isn’t always easy. We aren’t afraid to use our integrity to confront difficult situations. We firmly believe that acting with our utmost integrity those difficult conversations will help to build our trust with our clients. Sometimes the difficult option is the best.

It is also our integrity that has helped us to build a strong local relationship in our market place and the thrive as a business for the last seventy years.

We’re here for the long term and our integrity will help us to achieve that.