You've Got a Date

Every company in existence on 1 March 2002 was assigned its own Annual Return Date (ARD) by law. New companies incorporated on or after 1 March 2002 had an ARD triggered by their date of incorporation.

A company's ARD in future years is 12 months from its previous years ARD, unless the company altered that ARD. A company's ARD may be checked in the company search facility.

New Companies incorporated on/after 1 March 2002

The first ARD is the date which is

  • six months after the date of incorporation.

No accounts need be attached to this first return.

If the first ARD is extended by such company, this will shorten the time allowed before the company has to file a Form B1 with accounts. Second and subsequent ARDs will fall on the anniverary of the company's first ARD, unless the company elects to change its ARD.

Company incorporated before 1 March 2002

The ARD allocated on 1 March 2002 was either:

  • the anniversary of the date which is six months after the date of incorporation or
  • if an annual return was filed by the company before 1 March 2002, the anniversary of the effective date of that return.

If a company filed an annual return on or after 1 March 2002, which return was made up to a date prior to 1 March 2002, the ARD allocated on 1 March 2002 to that company was not affected by such filing.

The accounts attached to a company's annual return may predate the date to which the return has been made up by no more than nine months. Accordingly, certain categories of company had to alter their statutorily allocated ARD (using the mechanisms provided for in section 127) as their financial year-end predated their ARD by more than nine months.