Share this content

Which software to file your own accounts & CT600?

I'm looking for software I can use as a company director without being an agent

Didn't find your answer?

I'm a chartered accountant and have recently created my own property company. I have prepared my own accounts and tax computations but I'm struggling to find any software that would allow me to actually submit them to CH and HMRC.

I'm looking for something that would allow me to do submissions for multiple companies. My current one is an SPV and I'll be creating a separate trading company for flips and a separate one for urnished holiday lets to keep the different property businesses separate and maximise the tax benefits of each. I may also set up additional ones for JVs. 

The CH tool isn't suitable for me because it's a property company and most products are for accounting practices which I am not. The only solution I have managed to find so far is Easy Digital Filing which works out at £576 for the multiple returns package. Tax Filer looked very promising but you need to be an agent registered with the HMRC Agents Online Service and as far as I can see you can't do this for your own companies. 

I know c. £600 isn't too much in the grand scheme of things but it still seems a bit excessive for what you are actually getting. I would really appreciate any recommendations for alternative software that would fit my needs - thank you. 

Replies (32)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
By Calculatorboy
03rd Oct 2021 12:32

I believe taxcalc sells 12 ct returns for under 200.00 and you can enter agent or client co hmrc filing credentials

Thanks (0)
By johngroganjga
03rd Oct 2021 12:57

What software are you using to prepare the accounts and tax returns? Does that not have a Companies House filing utility?

Thanks (1)
Replying to johngroganjga:
avatar
By Damyan
03rd Oct 2021 13:52

I use wave accounting and I do the actual accounts and tax comps in Excel. I considered upgrading to something like quickbooks or Xero but you need the practice package to do any submissions

Thanks (0)
Replying to Damyan:
By johngroganjga
03rd Oct 2021 14:41

If you use something like VT you will streamline the preparation of your accounts and then be able to file them at Companies House at the click of a mouse. You will also be able to create the ixbrl version of them that you will need to attach to the CT return.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Damyan:
avatar
By nksimmons
05th Oct 2021 13:23

I also use Xero and until the most recent filing was able to use the HMRC tool to file CT600 and Annual Accounts. Unfortunately having gone over the threshold of £620k turnover I could no longer file that way. Xero does have the ability to file, but as you say you have to be an agent. I did enquire with Xero if I could become an agent with 1 client (myself) but that sadly was not possible. They did suggest making a request to unlock that functionality so I would encourage anyone else in the same position to lobby them to make tax filing available to users other than agents. I did find some online options for doing limited filing, but they also came at a cost. In the end I worked with an accountancy firm I use for another business and they sorted out all of my filings (CT600 and CoHo), but, as you note, at a cost of a few hundred pounds for replicating the accounts and tax comp I had already prepared. I think the most galling aspect is HMRC not allowing companies to file their own returns.

Thanks (0)
Replying to nksimmons:
RLI
By lionofludesch
05th Oct 2021 13:42

nksimmons wrote:
I think the most galling aspect is HMRC not allowing companies to file their own returns.

No, I think that there should be some oversight to close the tax gap.

Thanks (0)
RLI
By lionofludesch
03rd Oct 2021 13:05

You can still file on paper at Companies House if it comes to it.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Jo Nokes
03rd Oct 2021 14:05

I think you can use vt and vt final accounts to produce accounts and file at CH. Better than a spreadsheet because your history is all there. Not sure about the CT600 though

Thanks (0)
avatar
By DKB-Sheffield
03rd Oct 2021 14:56

Hi

I think the issue you may well face is in relation to the filing of accounts (as opposed to the CT).

Many providers offer 'business versions' (perhaps check out Andica) of CT software. Some of the 'practice versions' allow for submission of reurns under multiple Govt Gateway IDs - I'm 95% certain Taxcalc (practice) allows this (but, you'd be wise to double check) and 95% certain Taxfiler (practice) does not without a special override.

The issue with the accounts filing is the requirement have a CH Presenter account. In the past, some providers allowed you to submit under their presenter accounts but, I think that's less common now. You may need to therefore file the accounts on paper, or see if you are able to apply for a presenter account!

Thanks (1)
Replying to DKB-Sheffield:
RLI
By lionofludesch
03rd Oct 2021 15:12

DKB-Sheffield wrote:

Hi

I think the issue you may well face is in relation to the filing of accounts (as opposed to the CT).

Many providers offer 'business versions' (perhaps check out Andica) of CT software. Some of the 'practice versions' allow for submission of reurns under multiple Govt Gateway IDs - I'm 95% certain Taxcalc (practice) allows this (but, you'd be wise to double check) and 95% certain Taxfiler (practice) does not without a special override.

The issue with the accounts filing is the requirement have a CH Presenter account. In the past, some providers allowed you to submit under their presenter accounts but, I think that's less common now. You may need to therefore file the accounts on paper, or see if you are able to apply for a presenter account!

You don't have to be in practice to have a presenter account. You merely have to present documents.

Thanks (1)
Replying to lionofludesch:
avatar
By Bart Prokop
03rd Oct 2021 19:40

lionofludesch wrote:
Many providers offer 'business versions' (perhaps check out Andica)

Are you refering to "Andica CT600 Corporation Tax software"? This seems to be reasonable at £45. Any chance you know if it covers "receiving (CIT exempt) dividends" in CT600 tax calculations?

lionofludesch wrote:
The issue with the accounts filing is the requirement have a CH Presenter account. In the past, some providers allowed you to submit under their presenter accounts but, I think that's less common now. You may need to therefore file the accounts on paper, or see if you are able to apply for a presenter account!

Also noticed that Andica does not provide CH micro entity FRS 105 accounts template. However, it seems that it is possible to drive HMRC questionnaire to the state where web form allows to file accounts to CH only - that certainly would help with skipping "paper filing" (need to explore this a bit). Thanks for referring to Andica, very likely will give it a go.
Thanks (0)
Replying to Bart Prokop:
RLI
By lionofludesch
03rd Oct 2021 19:54

Bart Prokop wrote:

Thanks for referring to Andica, very likely will give it a go.

Nice of you to give me the credit but, actually, none of the quote attributed to me is mine.

Thanks (0)
Replying to lionofludesch:
avatar
By Bart Prokop
03rd Oct 2021 20:25

Sorry, recently registered here, not very proficient in navigating this forum. Of course credit to DKB-Sheffield for referring Andica

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Bart Prokop
03rd Oct 2021 15:43

Very similar question here. Looking for free/inexpensive filing software for my wife's Ltd (micro-accounts). Or some Professional who can spare me 1h of his professional life and file CT600/accounts for me (and not charge an arm and a leg for it).

Discovered today that Government Gateway / HMRC GOV route is useless for my wife's microbusiness as she invested free cash in dividend paying stocks... And apparently receiving "franked income" in otherwise streamlined business requires to report "income or expenditure from investment assets" that is not supported by HMRC gov filing. So looking for a solution to submit CT600 while having only Government Gateway account. So far all reasonably priced subscription software is "for agents only". Any recommendation for no-nonsense software or service to accomplish an otherwise trivial CT600? Literally income from one source, few expenses over a year, one AIA and some dividends/franked income from UK investment trusts. No VAT, employers, etc.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Bart Prokop:
avatar
By David Ex
03rd Oct 2021 16:48

Bart Prokop wrote:

Or some Professional who can spare me 1h of his professional life and file CT600/accounts for me (and not charge an arm and a leg for it).

Nothing like respecting the accounting profession!! Do you have any idea what legal/regulatory rules and professional/ethical standards accountants are subject to? If you want a cheap arrangement you’ll get what you pay for.

Thanks (1)
Replying to David Ex:
avatar
By Bart Prokop
03rd Oct 2021 17:32

David Ex wrote:

Nothing like respecting the accounting profession!! Do you have any idea what legal/regulatory rules and professional/ethical standards accountants are subject to? If you want a cheap arrangement you’ll get what you pay for.

I used to be a professional accountant (surprise ;)) in my previous life (long time ago/different geography), moved to software development, as accounting was not really my thing. And I know very much about "professional/ethical standards". One of mine standards would be not to voice opinion based on assumptions. I'm also not looking for "a cheap arrangement", but being quoted almost a grand for filing CT600 when suggested I will bring all the numbers ready, definitely reflects "very high professional expectations" ;).

My question was about any reasonably priced software that can be used to file CT600 by limited company director (my wife) provided she has Government Gateway account (and is not an agent) - nothing more. Alternatively, I'm happy to hire reasonable professional to do the filing. It was a question about feasible DIY solution, and the need for "extra software" comes as her micro entity received some dividends what precludes her from using standard HMRC gov website for filing.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Bart Prokop:
RLI
By lionofludesch
03rd Oct 2021 18:10

Bart Prokop wrote:

I used to be a professional accountant (surprise ;)) in my previous life (long time ago/different geography).....

Things have moved on since a "long time ago".

An hour of professional time would barely cover the due diligence of the money laundering and ID rules, let alone engagement letters and the work you actually want doing.

Blame the Government. It's their idea.

Thanks (1)
Replying to lionofludesch:
avatar
By Bart Prokop
03rd Oct 2021 19:58

lionofludesch wrote:
Blame the Government. It's their idea.

Indeed, I do not blame accountant at all. It is pretty ludicrous that a starting business that had £50 accrued dividends in last month of its reporting period needs to shell out 15x of that amount as "tax was made digital", but no free to file. It is not a rocket science. It is even more regrettable that a lot of CT filing software exclude you till you are an agent. And yes, I'm happy to have good and expensive accountant when business is large enough to sustain the costs.
Thanks (0)
Replying to Bart Prokop:
My photo
By Matrix
04th Oct 2021 01:08

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/corporation-tax-commercial-so...

I don’t know what accrued dividends are and whether the company is trading or investing but don’t be afraid to pay for professional advice. The cost of getting it wrong could be well in excess of the fee. I have had very capable accountants as clients.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Matrix:
avatar
By Bart Prokop
04th Oct 2021 19:59

Matrix wrote:
I don’t know what accrued dividends are and whether the company is trading or investing but don’t be afraid to pay for professional advice.

I'm not afraid to paid for professional advice.

BTW. accrued dividends are typical "fair value" presentation stuff. In my case - wife's limited company owned listed stocks just before ex-dividend date. Dividend was paid in next reporting period. In my amateur understanding accrued dividend increases (Dt) assets in balance sheet and increases non trading income in P&L (and is also in majority cases exempt from CIT). The reason for above is that this "accrued dividend" is an asset (i.e. receivables) separate from underlying stock. E.g. stock can be sold on/after ex-dividend date and in few weeks dividends is still paid, despite underlying asset is gone.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Bart Prokop:
My photo
By Matrix
04th Oct 2021 22:02

Sorry if I have missed it but I can’t see if you have prepared accounts under FRS105 or 102, I assume FRS102. So the adjustment is a fair value adjustment and not FII?

I think the amount you have been quoted is fair by the way but hopefully the adviser would address the trading v investing point I raised too and any implications that you haven’t addressed of doing both in the same company.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Matrix:
avatar
By Bart Prokop
05th Oct 2021 00:03

Matrix wrote:
Sorry if I have missed it but I can’t see if you have prepared accounts under FRS105 or 102, I assume FRS102. So the adjustment is a fair value adjustment and not FII?

FRS105 - as far as CH submission, I have only fixed and current assets to worry about.

Matrix wrote:
I think the amount you have been quoted is fair by the way but hopefully the adviser would address the trading v investing point I raised too and any implications that you haven’t addressed of doing both in the same company

I'm afraid this is not the case. We spent 5 months discussing pros and cons of "doing both in the same company" and decided to do so. This was conscious decision to accumulate profits for a few years in order to raise money needed to develop business further. Sane and conservative business decision. And it is not investing like active trading, it is just keeping investment trusts passively (much more sane IMHO than keeping cash on bank account in the perspective of 3-5 years). I'm not worried that her business will be deemed CIC or she will loose Entrepreneur Relief (and there are no plans to wind down a company either) and we do not plan "money boxing", etc.

This puzzles me quite a lot that many told me about "implications", but no one really enumerated them to me... Is it "ignorance is a bliss" in my case?

My problem is that I was surprised that standard web filing via HMRC gov pages excludes her, as she had"income from investments". Also popular software like FreeAgents, etc. will not let you file accounts / CT600 if you "received dividends". And looking for alternative to file accounts / CT600 proved to be unnecessary costly endeavour at current stage of the business.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Bart Prokop:
My photo
By Matrix
05th Oct 2021 06:08

If you are intent on DIY then I am sure you will find something, I sent you a link above.

I am still not sure if she received dividends or you made an adjustment and whether that adjustment is correct.

Thanks (0)
Replying to David Ex:
avatar
By Leywood
04th Oct 2021 11:40

[quote=David Ex]

Bart Prokop wrote:

''Or some Professional who can spare me 1h of his professional life and file CT600/accounts for me (and not charge an arm and a leg for it).

Nothing like respecting the accounting profession!! Do you have any idea what legal/regulatory rules and professional/ethical standards accountants are subject to?''

Plus the costs of ^^^^ as well as the software.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Leywood:
avatar
By Bart Prokop
04th Oct 2021 20:00

Leywood wrote:

Nothing like respecting the accounting profession!! Do you have any idea what legal/regulatory rules and professional/ethical standards accountants are subject to?''

Plus the costs of ^^^^ as well as the software.

We all know from thread above that software licence to do five CT600 returns costs £25 (for agents). Or standalone PC software costs £45. That leaves over £900 for ethical standards in quotation I received ;)

Not sure how many times I need to apologise/explain myself... I was prepared to pay, let's say £300-400 to someone filling CT600 for my wife, provided I will come with ready accounts and all necessary figures to file CT600... But I was quoted almost a grand, what I find a bit steep in those circumstances (less than 100 entries in a ledger total). It is really small business, just starting. And I was preached how non-standard and complex my return will be... My impression was that mentioning franked investment income/non-operational (mostly) untaxed income inflated the quotation a lot. It is not for me to judge if I have reasonable or unreasonable expectations, but I hardly find production of tax return from readily available figures that complex/expensive. Hence DIY route being explored.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Bart Prokop:
avatar
By Leywood
04th Oct 2021 21:43

Get another quote.

Perhaps they priced it at that level because they did not want your business or considered you would be a PITA client so priced accordingly.

If only I could just pay £25 for CT software and that would be it!

Out of touch.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Leywood:
avatar
By Bart Prokop
04th Oct 2021 22:16

Leywood wrote:

If only I could just pay £25 for CT software and that would be it!


Not sure what it is worth, but apparently 5 returns for £25: https://www.absolutetax.co.uk/products/absolute-topup
Yes, I'm definitely PITA ;) as I used to always review and question whatever accountants gave me, till I understood it thoroughly myself, that was before I left finances for good.

I'm currently trying to judge between Andica and Taxcalc and/or professional accountancy firm.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Bart Prokop:
avatar
By Donald MacKenzie
07th Oct 2021 11:46

I am sure I can help your wife get her return submitted without excess cost. Call me on 01463 712619

Thanks (1)
Replying to Bart Prokop:
avatar
By Donald MacKenzie
07th Oct 2021 11:46

I am sure I can help your wife get her return submitted without excess cost. Call me on 01463 712619

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Calculatorboy
03rd Oct 2021 18:47

Taxcalc 12 ct returns bungle 185.00 you can use individual company hmrc credentials

Plus vt for stat accounts plus ixbrl and Co House filing think its 150.00
All figs exc vat

Thanks (1)
paddle steamer
By DJKL
04th Oct 2021 11:55

I use Taxcalc both re tax and accounts production for ours, we are also a property group, we these days have six companies, one ordinary partnership and an LLP. We use the tax production and the Tax return/CT600 software, I prepare and submit everything in house.

The accounts package is flexible enough to permit extra notes/narrative (I tended to over disclose to our lenders when we had lenders), the frameworks are tight re editing main headers but work arounds are possible (a few years ago I had a massive reversal of a common repair provision that warranted distinct disclosure, whilst I could not disclose as I wanted I managed to fudge a disclosure with which I was happy)

The tax return software can be sorted to deal with NTLR debits/credits etc, capital gains are reasonably simple. These days we are more Investment than development but in the past we did both and had multiple apportionments re costs, the key is usually to work it all out on Excel first before entering into the software.

Re tax their micro practice at £281 might work and the accounts are £130 for the 12 sets.

Thanks (1)
avatar
By Donald MacKenzie
07th Oct 2021 11:42

Check out FTax. Five returns for £75

How will you produce the accounts and create the iXBRL files required to attach tot he returns?

Thanks (0)
Share this content