18 March, 2020
Following recent Government advice, Companies House have announced further changes to their filing systems to help maintain their services to businesses.
Typically every business must annually send accounts, confirmation statements and reports to Companies House. If a company's accounts are late, the default position by law is to impose an automatic penalty. Instead however, in response to recent events, Companies House are now offering support to over 4.3 million businesses by allowing them to extend their filing period by up to 3 months, as of the 25 March 2020. This follows on from the first initial extension which allowed Companies to apply for an extension of 30 days.
Businesses are encouraged to apply if, immediately before accounts are due, it becomes apparent that accounts will not be filed on time due to an event occurring outside the company's control - this includes the recent spread of Coronavirus. An application can be filed online by entering the company number, a contact email address and information related to the requested extension using the following link beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/extensions . A request can also be made via post to the office where the companies is registered. For UK Companies this address will be Companies House England and Wales, Crown Way, Cardiff, CF14 3UZ.
Companies will then receive a confirmation within 5 working days as to whether the application to extend has been granted. For companies where an extension is granted, they will then receive a further 3 months to file accounts where possible. The late filing penalty will then only be applicable where companies fail to submit the accounts after the extended 3 months. Please note however, that this extension will not affect company's filing dates in the future.
Companies are also advised to send paper invoices via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and all other filings to be made online where possible to ensure that they can still be processed by staff who are now working remotely.
Amongst the changes, business owners and others concerned can keep up to date with changes at Companies House via their website www.gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house and via their Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages.