If you’re looking on how to change your company’s year end, there’s two ways you can do so. The first is by shortening the accounting period and the second is by extending the accounting period of your company. A company can shorten it’s accounting period as many times it wants but it can only extend it once every five years. Think carefully before lengthening it and make sure there’s a valid reason for doing so.
A company’s year end is usually the last day of the month, 12 months after the company was incorporated. If a company was incorporated during April 2019, it’s year end would be 30th April 2020.
The company’s first set of accounts are due for filing at Companies House 21 months after the date of incorporation. In the example given, if the company is incorporated on 22nd April 2019, then it’s 30th April 2020 accounts will be due for filing by 31st January 2021 which is 21 months after the incorporation date of 22nd April 2019.
In subsequent years, the accounts will be due for filing at Companies House 9 months after the year end, adjusted for the month end. So for example if the company’s year was 30th April 2019, then the accounts will be due by 31st January 2020.
However if the company’s year end was 26th February 2019 then the accounts will be due for filing by 26th November 2019.
First Accounting Period
A company can change it’s first accounting period to any length of time between 6 months and 18 months, which means that a company can choose any year end they prefer, regardless of when it was incorporated.
If the accounting period is changed then the accounts will be due for filing either 21 months after the incorporation date or 3 months after the new accounting period, whichever date is later.
For example if a company is set up on 25th March 2019 it will have a normal year end date of 31st March 2020 and it’s accounts will be due for filing by 25th December 2020.
If it shortens its first accounting period to 31st December 2017 then its accounts will still be due for filing by 25th December 2018 – as this is later than 3 months after the new accounting period (which would be 31st March 2018).
If it lengthens it’s first accounting period to 30th September 2018 then its accounts will be due for filing by 31st December 2018, as this is later than 21 months after incorporation (which is 25th December 2018).
After the first accounting period, a company can choose to shorten it’s accounting period to any length of time and can lengthen it’s accounting period to up to 18 months (subject to the once every five years rule mentioned above).
If a subsequent accounting period is lengthened to more than 12 months, then the filing deadline will be 9 months after the accounting date.
So for example, if a company’s year end is 31st March 2018 and it changes this to 30th September 2018, then the accounts won’t be due for filing until 30th June 2019. This gives it an additional 6 months to file its accounts from the original due date of 31st December 2018.
If the accounting period is shortened to less than 12 months, then the filing deadline will be the later of 9 months after the accounting date or 3 months after the change was made. For example if a company’s year end is 31st March 2018 and it changes to 31st December 2018 (on 30th December 2018), then the shortened accounts will be due for filing by 31st March 2019.
When making a change the company year end, the first step is to complete the form AA01 and then submit this to Companies House. It should be noted that the accounting date cannot be changed if the accounts are overdue. Therefore the form AA01 must be received at Companies House within the allowable period for submitting the company’s accounts.