What is the Accounting Reference Date?

Jordan Macey

April 21, 2021

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Small Business Accounting

The Accounting Reference Date (ARD) is the date on which a company’s financial year ends, and when it has to submit its annual accounts.

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What are Debtors? Guide

What are Debtors?

The term ‘debtor' refers to an individual or company that owes money, or is in debt to an individual or organisation. An example would be a customer that has purchased a product or service from your business. In the balance sheet, debtors are listed under the current assets section.

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What is Amortisation? Guide

What is Amortisation?

In business accounting, amortisation is a method of calculating the value of a business asset over time. It is the process of spreading out the cost of an asset over its useful life.

In relation to loans, amortisation refers to the spreading out of loans into a series of fixed monthly installments.

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What is your First Accounting Year End Date? Guide

What is your First Accounting Year End Date?

The first accounting year end date for a new company is the last day of the month in which the first anniversary falls on. For example, if your company was incorporated on 15 January 2021, the first accounting year end date will be 31 January 2022.

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What are benefits in kind? Guide

What are benefits in kind?

For self-employed persons or employers, it can be challenging trying to understand the rules surrounding benefits in kind. These can be complicated; some benefits are taxable while others aren't, and it gets tricky figuring out which rules apply to your situation.

To make things a little easier to understand, we've written up a quick guide below. After reading our guide, you'll understand what benefits in kind are, have a clearer idea of which ones are taxable (and which ones aren't), and get an overview of what you need to do when it comes to reporting and paying taxes on benefits in kind.

Do keep in mind that this isn't a definitive guide, as HMRC's decision to impose a tax varies by situation. If you need specific advice, doconsult our specialist accountants at Forma.

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What deadlines do I need to know as a contractor? Guide

What deadlines do I need to know as a contractor?

As a contractor running your own limited company, you need to be aware of the following deadlines:

  • File end of year accounts to Companies House: 9 months after your company year ends. If it is your first year, the due date will be 21 months from the date your company was incorporated.
  • File your confirmation statement: This is due on the anniversary of incorporation each year
  • File your corporation tax return: This is due 12 months from your company year end.
  • Pay your corporation tax bill: Payment is due 9 months and 1 day after the end of the company year
  • PAYE RTI (Real Time Information) Returns: A submission of your company payroll has to be submitted in real time each month to HMRC. This is due on or before the intended salary payment. Any tax due from this can be payable on a quarterly or monthly basis as follows:
  • the 22nd of the next tax month if you pay monthly
  • the 22nd after the end of the quarter if you pay quarterly
  • VAT returns: Usually submitted on a quarterly basis, the company VAT is due to be filed and paid within 1 month and 7 days from the quarter end.
  • Self Assessment tax returns: Your Self Assessment Tax Return is always due to be filed by the following 31st January after the end of the tax year. This date is also the same deadline for payment of any tax due but you may also have a payment on account due by 31st July after this.
  • P11D: The submission of the company P11D will need to made by 6th July with any payment of National Insurance arising due by 19th July (22nd if paid electronically)
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What is an Annual Return? Guide

What is an Annual Return?

An annual return (AR01) is a document that all businesses are required to submit to Companies House each year. It details general information about a company, such as its ownership, capital position and management. The annual return has been replaced by the confirmation statement (CS01) since 30 June 2016.

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Can I change my company's accounting date / year end date? Guide

Can I change my company's accounting date / year end date?

You can change your company's year-end-otherwise known as the accounting reference date (ARD). Changes can be made to your current financial year or the year before.

Your company's financial year can be shortened as many times as you want, with the minimum duration you can shorten it by being one day. You can lengthen your company's financial year by up to 18 months once every five years. If other conditions apply, such as if your company is in administration, you'll be able to lengthen your financial year more often.

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What is Taxable Turnover? Guide

What is Taxable Turnover?

Taxable turnover is the turnover on which the seller is liable to pay tax.

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Company Filing & Deadlines: Self Assessment, VAT, Accounts, Tax & more Guide

Company Filing & Deadlines: Self Assessment, VAT, Accounts, Tax & more

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What is Retained Profit? Guide

What is Retained Profit?

Retained profits, or retained earnings are profits that a firm has earned to date (after deducting dividends or other distributions paid out to investors) and are retained in the company's accounts. In a balance sheet, retained profits are included under the owner's equity section.

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Small Business Guide to Debits and Credits Guide

Small Business Guide to Debits and Credits

As a self-employed person or small business owner, getting a good grasp of accounting fundamentals can feel like an uphill task.

As accountants who specialise in small business needs, we're familiar with the challenges that you face-and have put together a series of articles to help you easily understand the basics of accounting.

We've touched on key accounting terms & concepts and the differences between bookkeeping and accounting. Below, we'll dive in to explain what debits and credits mean in accounting.

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What is Employment Allowance? Guide

What is Employment Allowance?

Employment Allowance enables eligible employers to reduce their National Insurance bill by up to £4,000 each year.

HMRC's resource provides further details on checking if you're eligible, how and when to make a claim and what to do after you've made a claim.

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What are Credit Notes? Guide

What are Credit Notes?

A credit note is a document that a business issues to its customers. It is used whenever an invoice needs to be changed and re-issued, such as when a customer changes or cancels an order, or is charged an incorrect amount.

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What are the late filing and payment penalties? Guide

What are the late filing and payment penalties?

PAYE

RTI late filing will incur a monthly penalty of £100, depending on the number of employees you have.

Self Assessment

A late filing penalty of £100 is imposed if your tax return is up to three months late. The penalty increases if you're later than three months, or if you pay your tax bill late. Additionally, interest will be charged on late payments.

VAT

You may be required to pay a surcharge if you submit a late return. Surcharges for late payments or VAT return filings are indicated on the HMRC website.

Corporation Tax

HMRC's penalties are as follows:

  • 1 day late: £100
  • 3 months late: An additional £100
  • 6 months late: Your total corporation tax bill will be estimated, after which a penalty of 10% of unpaid tax will be imposed.
  • 12 months late: An additional penalty of 10% of unpaid tax will be imposed.

Company accounts

The following penalties for private limited companies will be imposed if you fail to file your accounts with Companies House on time:

  • Up to 1 month late: £150
  • 1 - 3 months late: £375
  • 3 - 6 months late: £750
  • More than 6 months late: £1,500


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What are Fixed Assets? Guide

What are Fixed Assets?

Fixed assets are property or equipment that a company owns, and uses in its day-to-day operations for income generating activities. These include machinery, equipment, buildings and land.

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What are Aged Debtors? Guide

What are Aged Debtors?

An aged debtors report shows a list of customers (debtors) who owe your business money, as well as the amount owed at any given time.

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What are Tangible Assets? Guide

What are Tangible Assets?

Tangible assets are physical assets or property owned by a company, such as equipment, buildings, and inventory.

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What are Accruals? Guide

What are Accruals?

Accruals refer to revenue that have been earned, or expenses that have been incurred but aren't yet recorded in a company's accounts.

Examples of accrued expenses include wages payable, bonuses, interest on loan and goods received.

One example of accrued revenue is accrued interest.

On the balance sheet, accrued expenses are recorded under the current liabilities section, while accrued revenue are recorded under the current assets section.

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What is Statutory Sick Pay? Guide

What is Statutory Sick Pay?

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is the amount of money mandated by law that every employee must be paid if they are too sick to work. Employees have to meet certain eligibility criteria to qualify for SSP.

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What are Cost of Sales? Guide

What are Cost of Sales?

The cost of sales is the accumulated total of all costs used to create a product or service, which has been sold. The cost of sales is a key part of the performance metrics of a company, since it measures the ability of an entity to design, source, and manufacture goods at a reasonable cost.

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