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There are a couple of changes in Corporation Tax that you need to be aware of for 2011.

First it will be mandatory for Corporation Tax returns, and related annual accounts, to be filed online with HMRC and using iXBRL markup.

Don’t worry, we’re dealing with that for our clients! It will mean software upgrades, and maybe a delay of a few months in some filings, but nothing to worry about and all deadlines will be met.

As a fall out from this it may be possible for us to also file clients accounts electronically with Companies House. The current online filing facility for accounts with Companies House is so cumbersome that printing the accounts off and posting them (which is the clients responsibility) is a lot less painful. We may, in future, be able to take over Companies House accounts filings for our clients.

Secondly, it will be compulsory, from April 2011, to pay Corporation Tax (normally due 9 months & 1 day after the end of the accounting period, so 1 January for 31 March) to HMRC electronically. Many of you probably do this anyway, by BACS or Bill Payment, but for those who still prefer to send a cheque, alas this won’t be permitted in the future (it remains to be seen, of course, whether a heavily indebted government actually refuses a cheque). I believe there may be penalties levied if payments continue to be made by cheque. Talk to your bank regarding moving to electronic payment if you don’t already have the facility.