Review: Sage Corporation Tax Online

Sage Impact
Share this content

It may not grab many headlines, but in its own quiet way Sage Corporation Tax Online represents a significant marker in the race to deliver the first comprehensive suite of tax and practice solutions.

Working as a cloud companion to Sage Accounts Production Online and Sage One, the corporation tax module offers small firms a low cost, flexible set up to process year-end accounts and CT600s entirely online.

Having given its big rival a head start, Sage is now breathing down the neck of IRIS, which has been leading the race with its IRIS Open suite of tools, which includes KashFlow for bookkeeping and IRIS OpenTax (personal tax, trust and CT600 returns). As yet, there is no online IRIS module for accounts production.

Nick Longden, vice president of Sage Accountants for UK and Ireland, told AccountingWEB in December that work is in hand to complete the final piece in the jigsaw in Sage’s entry-level online practice software suite with a personal tax module, coupled with further practice management enhancements to its Sage Impact environment.

So far, 2,000 firms have signed up for the Sage Impact collection - “reasonable traction for a product launched in May”, according to Longden. Along with Sage One and the online accounts production tool, Impact includes the Sage View reporting and analysis tool and Sage Value, a module to facilitate value pricing and fee collection as part of the client’s software subscription.

“We’re building Impact up in next few months as a portal into the Sage online world and are looking at options for practice management, which will allow us to create a full practice solution around Sage One,” Longden said.

But all that is for the future, after the self assessment deadline at the end of January. For those interested in more tangible insights into what’s available now, this article offers a brief introduction to Sage’s new corporation tax application.

Sage Corporation Tax Online - overview

Sage Corporation Tax Online menuAs part of the Sage Impact suite, the usual starting point for Sage Corporation Tax Online would be from the client dashboard in the Sage One Accountants edition. If you were starting the day with the tax return, you would choose your client, click and then click the CT program link to fire up the tax module.

Completing a CT600 is the final step of a sequence of actions arising from a trial balance that is processed into a final set of accounts, from which the figures are taken into a CT computation, from which the results are entered into the return itself.

Many desktop applications (including Sage) require data imports and exports between accounts production and tax, which also require a companion iXBRL file to accompany the CT600. One of the advantages of Sage’s online set up is the individual steps have been eliminated. So when the accounts production program generates the iXBRL submission for Companies House, the same file is available for the CT program to pick up and submit alongside the tax return and computation.

The structure of the program is simplicity itself: One half of the left hand menu reflects the different elements within the tax return, starting with standing information such as the company number and tax reference and then leading the user through the steps from adjustments, losses, allowances, loan declarations and other sections all the way through to submission.

The Computation Preview is displayed on a separate left hand menu tab.

Validation checks are built in throughout Sage Corporation Tax Online, so it will tell you if you entered an incorrect company number. Further on in the process, if you attempt to enter a prior year loss where there was none, an orange message appears to warn: “Account claimed to be carried back to previous year must be equivalent to or less than the losses available to carry back”:

Trade losses alertWhen it comes to run the computation, the default presentation is to show all the section summaries. But if most of them are not needed or would confuse the client, the accountant can suppress them from view when outputting a PDF version for the client to sign off.

Just in case you ignored any warning alerts along the way, these are presented on the computation summary screen, with a gentle warning against filing the return until they’ve been cleared up.

When ready to submit, you go to that section of the app, which will already hold your user ID and password details with HMRC Online. The submission process will require you to make sure the iXBRL accounts and computation are attached alongside the CT600 and then queue the pack up for HMRC’s computers (see below).

Apart from the complexities of the calculations itself and assembling the right bits of information, there’s not a lot else to report. But Sage is particularly proud of its usability work on Sage Corporation Tax Online, which features several subtle touches that make the web-based program easier to operate. On the simplest level, if you’ve grown up pressing the Enter key to jump between fields in Windows programs, Sage CT Online works in the same way.

If you enter a figure that previous year loss into the field on the tax form, it will automatically turn the figure into a negative number. Or if you start a figure with a bracket to indicate it’s negative, the program will close the bracket for you too.

Over the years Sage has suffered from a reputation for lagging behind its rivals in the quality of its tax and practice software. The rapid development of Sage Impact during the past year challenge’s that old stereotype; Sage Corporation Tax Online may not be the most exciting program you’re ever going to use, but it is a good representative of the new, technically credible Sage ethos.>

Pricing update: As well as quickening its speed of development, Sage is taking an aggressive approach to pricing to win new customers for its cloud suite. If the customer already uses Sage One Accountant Edition and the clients are Sage One users, the corporation tax module is free. For any firm that wants to prepare CT600s for non-Sage One users, the fee is £120.

Sage Corporation Tax Online computation preview

About John Stokdyk

John Stokdyk is the global editor of AccountingWEB UK and


Please login or register to join the discussion.

07th Jan 2016 10:14

So how much is it? Presumably being Sage it's going to cost about ten times what I'd pay elsewhere?.

Thanks (2)
07th Jan 2016 11:08

Good point about the pricing oversight

Apologies Tim - and to anyone else who looked at the review earlier and wanted to find out how much it cost.

I should have included that info in the first place, but have now added it retrospectively at the end.

Thanks (0)
07th Jan 2016 11:38

Thanks John. Though I'm not sure £120 is exactly aggressive pricing by today's standards - its about par for that level of functionality surely? It is less than I expected though, from Sage, so perhaps that is their version of aggressive pricing...

Thanks (0)
07th Jan 2016 12:32

The aggressive bit is free for Sage One users

It's a nifty little CT program - and when I have the time I'd like to compare it to Taxfiler - but what is very obviously interesting is the way Sage is positioning the no-fee edition as an incentive to lure more accountants into picking up Sage One.

The fact they got it ready ahead of the final SA push suggests to me that they also hope to catch a bit of last-minute small, limited company mop-up action in the run up to 31 January.

Thanks (0)
07th Jan 2016 14:07

I will stick to taxfiler John !

Thanks (2)
07th Jan 2016 16:42

Clarity on pricing

Hi All,

I just wanted to post a quick message to clarify the pricing of the product. If you would like to use Sage Corporation Tax Online for any of your non-Sage One clients, the price would be £120 + VAT per year for an unlimited number of clients.

If you an other questions about SCTO please feel free to contact Sage on 0845 111 1111.,


Thanks (3)
07th Jan 2016 17:32

its a very competitive world

which is good news for us

Thanks (0)
07th Jan 2016 18:21

Hah! So if I have 60 Sage One clients and 2 non-Sage One clients, I pay the same amount as somebody with no Sage One clients.

And next year when I come to renew I could find that it is suddenly a lot more expensive and some poe-faced Sage Support clown will explain that £120 was the introductory offer cost for the poor sops who helped shake the bugs out.

Oops. Sorry, a little cynicism escaping there. I'm sure it won't be like that at all.

Thanks (0)
07th Jan 2016 18:39

Also just spotted this in John's review:

"So when the accounts production program generates the iXBRL submission for Companies House, the same file is available for the CT program to pick up and submit alongside the tax return and computation."

The problem there is that I will submit abbreviated accounts to CH and full accounts to HMRC, so submitting the same file to both is not at all what I want.

Thanks (0)
27th Oct 2017 15:50

Sage produces different iXBRL files for Companies House and HMRC

For clarity, Sage Final Accounts Online produces two separate iXBRL files, abbreviated or abridged for Companies House and full for HMRC.


You can trial our online applications for free -


Chris Strong

Sage Product Owner

Sage Accountants’ Division, UK & Ireland

Thanks (3)
08th Jan 2016 12:14

My mistake on the iXBRL file formats

Thanks to Tim for pointing out the error - and Chris from Sage for clarifying it.

Thanks (0)
24th Jan 2016 16:37

Been testing this

I want to achieve a greater level of final accounts and CT integration and also look at having both on the cloud. So back end of last year I signed up for SageOne and I'm surprised that it seems quite a neat solution, the two issues I've had to date being:

1. Lack of a TB import in the Final Accounts module which is a real pain if you want to migrate clients from another FA platform. Works fine if you've been keeping the books on SageOne though but even so you'd still want to import comparatives.

2. The TB entry is cumbersome because there is no way to filter the comprehensive list of accounts, which is particularly annoying when you just want to edit a line.

3. Inconsistent integration between FA and CT600, so having made an adjustment in FA my CT profit per the accounts isn't updating.

Having many clients on Xero I was awaiting news on their UK Final Accounts but there seems to be no sign of this.



Thanks (1)
25th Jan 2016 09:02

Sage Response: Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

If you'd be happy to have a conversation with us so that we can understand your points better and the in turn improve the solutions together, we'd love that.  You can either DM me your details or drop us an email: [email protected]

Regarding the points for the benefit of the Accounting Web Community:


1) Agreed. We focused on ensuring that Sage to Sage worked seamlessly before moving on to a move generic import from 3rd party solution. Our experience and research with our Online Design Partners informed us that no one likes to 'map' things and typically it's simpler for users to type in a Trial Balance as they get the added benefit of sense checking the figures as they are typed in.

2) We can make this better together.  Currently we list all the Nominal Accounts that could be relevant for the client set of accounts.  We've found that this works really well for clients with a large Trial Balance, but we can improve it for simpler clients.  We’ve explored numerous ideas to make this better and would love to hear your and anyone else’s thoughts.  

Tip: Use CTRL + F and use your browser’s in-built search feature to find words or values on a page.

​3) ​The Final Accounts module is more mature and we’ve enabled functionality that prompts you there is a change elsewhere (whether compliance or data) and gives you the choice to adopt those changes or not.  Following the premise that Sage to Sage solutions should be excellent, we happily work with you to make FA to CT600 even better and match your workflow.

Kind regards

Chris Strong

Sage Product Owner
Sage Accountants’ Division, UK & Ireland

Thanks (0)
By john79
13th Apr 2016 18:29


On the face of it seems a very good product for straightforward basic computations. However, some things seem difficult to locate. For example where is the option to claim R&D tax credits?

Whilst i applaud SAGE on some of their online products, recently their technical support seems to let them down, & these days my account manager (who seems to change every 3 weeks) never seems to respond. I'm still awaiting a meeting with him which i requested nearly 2 months ago!!!

Thanks (0)
29th Jul 2016 11:27

PracticePartner wrote:

2. The TB entry is cumbersome because there is no way to filter the comprehensive list of accounts, which is particularly annoying when you just want to edit a line.

Good morning,
Regarding the points for the benefit of the Accounting Web Community:

In June we updated the trial balance data entry to show nominal account categories. This will make it easier to find the correct sections when entering the initial trial balance and the comparative trial balance.

This week we’ve added a filter to both the initial and comparative trial balance entry screens so that you can search for either a nominal code or description. This will make it easier to find the correct nominal accounts when entering the initial trial balance and the comparative trial balance.

See all the enhancements we’ve recently made:

Kind regards
Chris Strong

Sage Product Owner
Sage Accountants’ Division, UK & Ireland

Thanks (0)