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News - 29 April 2014

Ministers set to cut small companies red tape

The Department for Business (BIS) has published a response to the company filing requirements consultation it carried out last year. The consultation asked for feedback on proposed changes to the annual filing requirements for UK companies that were intended to simplify filing processes and reduce duplication. The response to the consultation includes changes to the process of filing annual returns and information about a joint filing tool for submitting information to Companies House and HMRC.

Stuart Coleman, Manager of the Tax Department of ABDS comments:
“Proposals to simplify company-filing processes and requirements are policies that will be introduced to lighten the regulatory load on small, incorporated businesses, replacing the annual return with a more flexible way for firms to simply confirm their details are correct. This new option will remove the burden on companies of having to make changes to some of their information within the year, and then having to duplicate that amendment when they come to fill in an annual return.”

This will mean that  companies for example, appoint a new director, they will be asked if they wish to check and confirm other information at the same time. If they do so, no further action will be required for a further twelve month period, unless there is a change which needs to be notified to Companies House (CH).

Stuart continues:
“The other major policy innovation will be to remove the need for companies to file the same information with the registrar and HM Revenue & Customs. HMRC and CH will work together to make changes to the joint-filing tool, so the majority of small companies can meet their obligations to both bodies by providing data just once via this single channel.”

In future, CH will be able to send all correspondence and statutory notices via email and companies will be able to ‘opt-in’ to receiving communications electronically from the registrar.

An accompanying policy will allow companies to keep certain information on the public register instead of company registers, and the process for removing inaccurate registered office addresses from the former will be simplified.

Elsewhere, the requirement for companies to file a ‘consent to act’ for newly appointed directors and company secretaries will be removed, but replaced by ‘a statement of truth’ from the firm that the person has consented to act in either capacity.

Reflecting on all of the changes to company-filing requirements and processes, the government said it would enact them by amending the Companies Act 2006, which is likely to be revised in the next session of parliament.

If you need any help and advice with your business returns and declarations, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help in all your financial and business planning.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

Brilliant with numbers   
Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective 
In touch with issues that face our clients
Mindful of our client’s long term strategic goals

Helping Your Business is Our Business

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