CHANGING FINANCIAL YEAR END: There are several reasons why you might choose to change your company’s year end.
The rules allow you to make the financial year run for less than 12 months, or for more than 12 months.
But, there is a specific process for changing the ‘accounting reference date‘.
You must make the changes in either the current financial year or the year immediately before it.
As a rule, if you change a limited company year end it will also change the deadline for filing accounts. The exception could be if you are lengthening the first financial year of the company.
Company Financial Year End Rules
There is no limit on how many times you can shorten your company financial year. But, the minimum period of shortening must be at least one full day.
In some cases, you can also lengthen the financial year of a limited company:
- Up to the maximum of 18 months. Some exceptions allow a longer period (e.g. if the company is in administration).
- One time every five (5) years.
There are several other circumstances that allow you to lengthen the company financial year more often than once every 5 years. Examples include situations whereby:
- The company goes into administration.
- The dates get aligned with a parent company or a subsidiary.
- Companies House grant you special permission to do so.
Note: If the company accounts are overdue you will not be able to change the company’s year end.
How to Apply Online
Use the online service to inform Companies House about changes to a private limited company.
Applying by Post
Use the form when changing accounting reference date by postal methods. Remember, it must relate to either the current year or immediately previous accounting period.
Download form AA01 titled ‘Change your company accounting reference date‘. After filling in application form AA01 you should send it to the address written on the document.
Changing Corporation Tax Period
As a rule, changing a company year end at Companies House affects accounting periods for Corporation Tax. The next step will depend on whether the financial year got shortened or lengthened.