In recent weeks, the Future Strategy team has become aware of a change to how Companies House is dealing with late filing of accounts and submissions of Confirmation Statements past the agreed deadline.
Companies House has the legal power to pursue directors personally for late submissions.
But, until now, we had only experienced this for late accounts filing.
Recent reforms have led Companies House to review all of its current cases. As a result, they are becoming less tolerant of businesses missing the deadline and submitting a late confirmation statement.
As a worst-case scenario, this can result in you personally being served with a Summons from Cardiff Magistrate’s Court and potential enforcement action.
Recently, in one particular case, enforcement action was taken against a director at their home address for the late submission of a Confirmation Statement.
The penalties for filing your accounts or Confirmation Statement late with Companies House can be extremely severe.
You mustn’t ignore the deadline or any subsequent legal notices should you miss it.
If you need assistance filing your overdue accounts or Confirmation Statement, we are here to help.
We can also help if you are thinking of closing your limited company, which, providing the application to do so has been submitted before your accounts are due, will limit any legal action taken against you.
What are the annual documents I need to file with Companies House?
Each year, your company must file its annual accounts AND its Confirmation Statement.
Your accounts should comprise a directors’ report, a balance sheet, a profit and loss account, and notes explaining these figures.
The directors must complete and approve these accounts before being filed at Companies House within nine months of the year-end. They must also be sent to HMRC with your company’s corporation tax return.
You will not be charged for filing your accounts, and most small companies will submit the least information to which they are permitted.
What is a Confirmation Statement?
It’s essential to check that Companies House’s information about your company is correct each year.
Introduced in June 2016 to replace the old Annual Return, the Confirmation Statement (also known as the CS01 form) is a list of standing data that includes details of:
- your registered office, directors, secretary, and the address where you keep records
- statement of capital and shareholder information (if your company has shares)
- your Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code, which identifies what your company does
- your register of ‘people with significant control’ (PSC)
You can also report any changes to your statement of capital, shareholder information, and SIC codes at the same time.
However, the Confirmation Statement CAN NOT be used to report changes to:
- your company’s officers
- the registered office address
- the address where you keep your records
These must be filed separately with Companies House.
How do I submit my Confirmation Statement to Companies House?
You can send your Confirmation Statement online or by post, which costs £13 and £40, respectively.
You will receive an email alert or a reminder letter to your company’s registered office when your statement is due.
This will usually be a year after either the date your company incorporated or the date you filed your last annual return or Confirmation Statement.
You can submit your Confirmation Statement up to two weeks (14 days) after your due date.
What happens if I am late filing my accounts?
You must pay penalties if you fail or cannot file your accounts with Companies House by the deadline at the end of your limited company’s financial year.
You will incur a £150 penalty for submitting your accounts up to one month after the deadline, with that amount subsequently rising to £375 (one to three months), £750 (3-6 months), and £1,500 (more than six months).
Penalties for public limited companies are different.
You’ll automatically receive a penalty notice if your accounts are filed after the deadline.
And that penalty will be doubled if you submit your accounts late two years in a row.
Though there is no fine or penalty for filing your Confirmation Statement a little late, your company could be struck off the register if you fail to send your accounts or confirmation statement to Companies House in good time.
So it makes sense not to have overdue accounts and not submit a late confirmation statement. You should avoid this if you possibly can.
Can I appeal against a late filing penalty?
If you wish to appeal a penalty, you must:
- have a specific reason for not submitting your accounts on time
- include all relevant details, such as dates and times
- prove that circumstances were out of your control
Your appeal against a late filing penalty is likely to be unsuccessful if you provide one of the following reasons:
- they were my first accounts
- my company is dormant
- my company is a charity or a flat management company
- I cannot afford to pay
- another director is responsible for filing the accounts
- it was my accountant’s (or anybody else’s) fault
- I did not know when or how to file your accounts
- my accounts were delayed or lost in the post
- the directors live or were travelling overseas
If you wish to appeal, you should send a letter to the address on the front page of the penalty invoice or email firstname.lastname@example.org (including the penalty reference).
You will receive a response within 20 working days, and no penalties will not be collected while your appeal is being considered.