For Company year ends starting after 6 April 2008, the filing deadlines for annual accounts reduce from 10 months after the year end to 9 months.
For example, a company with a 31 March year end:
Year end 31 March 2008, file by 31 January 2009
Year end 31 March 2009, file by 31 January 2010 (unless period commenced after 6 April 2008)
Year end 31 March 2010, file by 31 December 2010
Most, but of course, not all of our clients have 31 March deadlines, so the new rules will start to impact 12 months from now.
There are a few points to note:
1 These deadlines are for private companies & LLPs; the deadlines for public companies (PLCs) are shorted, but this will not affect a typical client.
2 The time scale may be shorter for the company’s first year if the first accounts period is extended to be longer than 365 days.
3 If your year end is, say, 30 June, the filing deadline is 30 March not 31 March. Likewise, 28 February the deadline is 28 November not 30 November, etc.
Companies House are also increasing the late filing penalties, applying to accounts delivered late on or after 1 February 2009 (so therefore affecting, potentially, 31 March 2008 year ends delivered late). The new penalties are:
– Up to one month late £150
– One to three months late £375 (previously £100 for up to 3 months)
– Three to six months late £750 (previously £250)
– More than six months late £1000 (Previously £500 for 6-12 months, £1000 for over 12 months late)
There is also a “repeat offender” supplement – the penalty is doubled if your accounts were late in the previous year.
When we send you your final accounts each year we send two copies; a full “approval” set to be signed and return to us and a “abbreviated” set for Companies House. It is your responsibility to send the abbreviated accounts to Companies House in good time; we recommend recorded delivery be used, as Companies House are notoriously sympathetic to claims of postal loss / delay.
It is possible to file accounts on line, but it is a tortuous process involving re-typing the existing accounts on to a PDF template customised to your company from Companies House. In time its hoped this process will become easier, and we will keep clients updated.
Confusion often arises between filing accounts at Companies House and the annual return for Companies House. These are two separate documents.
– accounts, are the balance sheet and notes, as produced by us for you, and the deadlines and penalties above refer.
– the annual return is a “shuttle” document updating names and address of directors / shareholders, shareholdings, registered office address. As the name implies its delivered annually, and completely separate to the accounts. There is a filing fee with the annual return, £15 if done on line, £30 if sent by paper. Most people file online, and whilst the first annual return can be a bit tortuous, in future years the update on line should take minutes. Because of the administration involved in collecting and paying the filing fees, we don’t file annual returns for our clients, but we will gladly offer assistance and guidance where necessary.