Plans to align filing dates ditched

Plans to align filing dates ditched

Government has appeared to abandon plans to align the filing dates of Companies House with tax returns, to the delight of tax advisers and businesses

The proposed alignment of the two filing deadlines has been a major concern
for corporates, who feared that bringing the two dates together would create a
massive administrative burden for companies.

Business was concerned that the alignment dates would have cut the amount of
time available to do tax returns by three or five months to seven or nine
months.

The matter was opened up for consultation in November 2005 with both HM
Revenue & Customs and Companies House calling for the two filing dates to be
aligned.

The move was vociferously opposed, with a number of business interest groups
arguing that aligning the dates would over-burden companies.

In its submission to the consultation the CBI said the proposals from the
government reflected ‘a lack of understanding of what is involved in the process
of preparing company accounts and tax computations’.

The change would also increase compliance costs and reduce efficiency, the
CBI said.

The government did not explicitly state it was dropping the proposal at the
pre-Budget report, saying it was still under review. But, as tax advisers are
aware in relation to the non-domicile rules, that tends to mean it has been put
on ice, if not ditched altogether.

John Cullinane, Deloitte tax partner and Chartered Institute of Taxation
president, said the decision to call off the alignment of the two sets of
filings would save businesses from significant administrative costs.

‘Many large businesses think that the concept of aligning the filing date for
corporation tax purposes with that for Companies House purposes is misconceived
in principle,’ Cullinane said.

He added that for many large businesses the filing of the two sets of
documents was seen as sequential.

‘Many businesses do not start to prepare the company tax return until the
Companies House return has been completed,’ Cullinane said.

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