How to file accounts ‘late’ without a penalty

Generally, all companies in the UK  have to file accounts at Companies House within 9 months of the year end (there are slightly different rules in the first year) . This is to ensure that the company’s results are on public record on a timely basis and is one of the obligations imposed in exchange for  limited liability.

However, sometimes it’s just not possible to get everything completed before the deadline and in these cases Companies House raise penalties for late submission that increase as the delay extends:

Time after the deadline Penalty (for private limited companies)
Up to 1 month £150
1 to 3 months £375
3 to 6 months £750
More than 6 months £1,500

It is possible to extend the year end which also extends the accounting deadline. However this is only possible once every 5 years.

So what happens if you have recently extended the deadline but are still unable to file on time? Sre you stuck with paying these charges?

Well the answer is NO. A little known exemption exists in the Companies Act that permits up to an additional 3 months to file in the case where the year end is shortened (there is no limit on how often a period can be shortened)

s442 Companies Act 2006

If the relevant accounting reference period is treated as shortened by virtue of a notice given by the company under section 392 (alteration of accounting
reference date), the period is—
(a) that applicable in accordance with the above provisions, or
(b) three months from the date of the notice under that section, whichever last expires.

So if you were to shorten your accounting peiod on the very last day of the filing deadline, you’ll win yourself an additional 89 days before having to worry about penalties again.

If you’ve ever wondered why some companies have accounts that don’t run to the end of a month but stop just short, this could be one of the reasons.

For any help or advice on accounts or filing requirements please get n touch on 0345 177 5500 or chat with us online today.

Scroll to Top