18 March 2020
Businesses can apply for a three month extension to file accounts if Coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected your company
All companies must send their accounts, reports and confirmation statements to Companies House every year. If a company’s accounts are filed late, the law imposes an automatic penalty.
Your company should take appropriate measures to ensure accounts are filed on time. You should also file your accounts online if you’re able to.
If, immediately before the filing deadline, it becomes apparent that accounts will not be filed on time due to your company being affected by Coronavirus, you may make an application to extend the period allowed for filing.
From 25 March 2020, businesses will be given an additional three months to file accounts with Companies House to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19.
Applications can be made through a fast-tracked online system which will take 15 minutes to complete. GOV.UK outline how to apply for more time to file your company’s accounts.
Late filing penalties
If you do not apply for an extension and your accounts have been filed late, an automatic penalty will be imposed. The registrar has very limited discretion not to collect a penalty.
Read GOV.UK guidance on late filing penalties and appeals.
Each appeal is treated on a case-by-case basis, and GOV.UK already has policies in place to deal with appeals based upon unforeseen poor health. Appeals based upon COVID-19 will be considered under these policies.
Further information from GOV.UK:
- Guidance: Filing your company’s accounts
- Guidance: Online filing and email reminders for companies
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response
- COVID-19: guidance for employers and businesses
First published 18 March 2020