Variable accounting year end

Filing CT600 when each accounting year varies by a couple of days within Co House permitted 7 days

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My client is a restaurant so their financial year always ends on a Sunday so some years are a few days shorter and some are longer than 365. Do I have to file two CT returns if the new year end is later than the previous year end, ie 28th April this year, 26th April last year. Can I file the CT600 to 30 April every year and have a small difference between the CT year end and the Financial year end.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
03rd Apr 2024 11:46

"My client is a restaurant so their financial year always ends on a Sunday....."

I don't follow that logic. Restaurants don't have to have year ends on a Sunday. It's not mandatory. What dates do you file VAT returns to?

Moreover, April 26th was a Wednesday last year.

Accounting periods will be 52 weeks usually so they're fine. Every five or six years, you'll need to file two returns, yes.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By MartinGWilson
03rd Apr 2024 12:10

Thanks for the response. The accounting is 52 weeks so there are whole weeks in the accounts as the income is day sensitive. Weekends are higher income so adding or omitting extra days makes comparison more variable. Unfortunately with 52 weeks and one day in a calender year the period end drifts as permitted by the Companies Act within the 7 day range to include only whole weeks.

The compexity arises as I cannot see that HMRC allows the same flexibilty and I wondered what other practioners do where the financial accounts exceed the 365 days albeit only by one or two days ? File two CT600's for the financial period or fixed the CT600 as an annual return ending on the same date each year ?

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Replying to MartinGWilson:
RLI
By lionofludesch
03rd Apr 2024 12:15

MartinGWilson wrote:

The compexity arises as I cannot see that HMRC allows the same flexibilty and I wondered what other practioners do where the financial accounts exceed the 365 days albeit only by one or two days ? File two CT600's for the financial period or fixed the CT600 as an annual return ending on the same date each year ?

I don't think you have a choice. You must file a CT return - or returns - which agrees with the dates on the accounts.

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Routemaster image
By tom123
03rd Apr 2024 12:28

The question for the client is whether this choice, (which is also common in retail) of having specific numbers of weeks in a year is worth the extra compliance cost.

The client could move the year end to January, when no-one goes out much, and the effect year to year would be tiny.

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Replying to tom123:
RLI
By lionofludesch
03rd Apr 2024 12:33

How big is the compliance cost these days?

The software does the heavy lifting.

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Replying to tom123:
RLI
By lionofludesch
03rd Apr 2024 12:36

tom123 wrote:

The client could move the year end to January, when no-one goes out much, and the effect year to year would be tiny.

Or move the ARD by one day every year.

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Replying to williams lester accountants:
By Ruddles
03rd Apr 2024 12:48

williams lester accountants wrote:

The info you need is here - https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/company-taxation-manual/ctm01560.


It really shouldn't have taken 7 responses to get to this point ;¬)
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Replying to williams lester accountants:
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By MartinGWilson
03rd Apr 2024 14:14

Perfect, I felt there should be such a concession but couldn't locate it. Many thanks for your assistance and all that offered suggestions.

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DougScott
By Dougscott
03rd Apr 2024 13:33

I've just taken on a client where the previous accountant kept shortening the accounting period, I think basically to give him more time to file his clients accounts because he was always late with everything (which is why the client has come to me). His last filed accounts at companies house were dated 22 March whereas CT is still showing 31 March. His last act of defiance when the client told him he was leaving was to extend the period back to 31 March at Companies House so that if we want to change the accounting period we won't be able to extend it (for five years), only shorten it.

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Replying to Dougscott:
By Ruddles
03rd Apr 2024 14:39

Presumably previous agent extended the period with the client's approval. If not...

I'm also curious as to why accounts were filed to 22 March. Yes, 31 March may have been outside the 7-day window but 'usual' practice in that case would have been to extend ARD to say 30 April and then immediately shorten it to 7 April. Hey presto, another 14 years of shortening but continued ability to make up accounts to 31 March.

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Replying to Ruddles:
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By Bobbo
03rd Apr 2024 15:11

My guess is that the answer is "nobody thought of that".

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By Paul Crowley
03rd Apr 2024 14:48

Keep it simple
Keep the date at a normal year end and use figures from actual date up to seven days before or after.
No need to complicate.
The seven days is from when lots of stores and traders worked in weeks.

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