Are there any exceptions for failing to file your accounts on time?

Companies House are very strict on the annual return of company accounts, they will however consider extending your time under exceptional circumstances. Any request for more time must be supported with a letter detailing the precise reasons why you have failed to return the documents in the allotted time.

If you file your accounts late and a penalty has been issued then this may be cancelled in exceptional circumstances. However, it must be stressed that circumstances have to be ‘exceptional’. For example a fire at the company has destroyed the accounting records or a sole company director died making preparing the accounts difficult.

The following examples are not deemed to be exceptional and in most occurrences the penalty will still stand.

  • your company is dormant;
  • you cannot afford to pay;
  • your accountant was ill;
  • you relied on your accountant;
  • these are your first accounts;
  • you are not familiar with the filing requirements;
  • your company or its directors have financial difficulties (including bankruptcy);
  • your accounts were delayed or lost in the post;
  • the directors live or were travelling overseas;
  • another director is responsible for preparing the accounts.

It is a director’s responsibility to know when the accounts are due and to check they have been filed on time.

We are here to help you. Please do not hesitate to call 0844 815 0909 for friendly and professional advice on starting a company.

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