Companies House late filing penalties
If you're late filing your limited company or LLP accounts, then your company will be subject to Companies House late filing penalties.
So what are Companies House late filing penalties and how can you avoid them?
Companies House late filing penalties: Accounts filing deadlines
In order to avoid Companies House late filing penalties, you need to get your accounts in on time!
You have 9 months after the company's year end to file your accounts with Companies House. So, for example, if your year end is 31st March 2016 then you have until 31st December 2016 to file these accounts.
But be careful - the only exception is if it's the first set of accounts after you've incorporated your company or LLP. In this case you have 21 months from the date you set up your company or 3 months from the company's accounting reference date - whichever is the longer.
So for example, if you incorporate your company on 21st March 2017 then your first year end will be 31st March 2018. So you have until 21st December 2018 to file your accounts.
If you extend your company's year end - then you either have to file your accounts within 21 months of the incorporation date (by 21st December 2016) or within 3 months of your new year end if this is longer.
A lot of companies find themselves picking up penalties from Companies House for their first set of accounts because they hadn't realised there was a slightly reduced filing period - it may only be a few days but you'll still pick up a penalty!
If you want to know when your accounts are due for filing, click on the link here.
And if you're going to struggle to file your company accounts on time and you have a justifiable reason for being late (eg serious illness) then make sure you contact Companies House ahead of the accounts filing deadline in order to request an extension. Whilst it's by no means certain that Companies House will allow an extension, you can only request this BEFORE the filing deadline has passed.
Companies House late filing penalties: The penalties
So now you know when you'll pick up a penalty, how much will you have to pay?
Well, the current Companies House late filing penalties (as at January 2018) are shown below:
Time after deadline
Penalty for Private company
Up to 1 month
1 to 3 months
3 to 6 months
More than 6 months
And beware - these penalties are doubled if it's your second year for being late!
To find out the most up to date penalties download the government guide here.
To find out what happens to the filing deadline if you change your company's year end, read our blog here.
A good accountant should be able to help you avoid picking up any unnecessary late filing penalties - and should be able to file your accounts for you well within the required deadlines.
Our eBooks cover this and many other topics. Check them out here.
And if you'd like to know how we can help you with all of this, or with anything else, feel free to give us a call on 01202 048696 or email us at [email protected].