Companies often have to contend with having two different company accounting periods. This is because there are different rules for Companies House filings and for HMRC to whom any Corporation Tax due is paid.
The accounting periods can be the same but can also differ and a change may be needed to ‘sync’ the accounting periods. As a general rule, the Companies House rules are more flexible and under certain circumstances it is possible to make a change to the year end. The Companies House accounting period can sometimes run for more or less than 12 months.
A tax accounting period for Corporation Tax purpose cannot be longer than 12 months. This can create the unusual scenario whereby a company will be required to file two returns with HMRC if an accounting year is longer than twelve months.
If your accounts cover less than 12 months, then your accounting period will normally end on the same day and will also be shorter than 12 months. This can happen if the company stops trading or shortens its company’s year-end date (also known as its accounting reference date).