What are late filing penalties?
Late filing penalties were introduced in 1992 to encourage directors of limited companies to file their accounts on time because they must provide this statutory information for the public record.
What are the changes being introduced?
- All penalties to be increased to take account of inflation between 1992 and 2007.
- A faster rate of increase in penalties for companies who file more than one month late.
- A doubling of the penalty for any company which files late having also filed late in the previous year.
What are the new late filing penalties?
The new table of penalties is as follows:
|How late are the accounts delivered||Penalty
|Not more than one month||£150||£750|
|More than one month but not more than three months||£375||£1500|
|More than three months but not more than six months||£750||£3000|
|More than six months||£1500||£7500|
In addition, where there was a failure to comply with filing requirements in relation to the previous financial year (and that the previous year had begun on or after 6th April 2008), the penalty will be double that shown in the table.
When do these new penalties apply?
The new penalties will apply from 1st February 2009.
How will I know when a penalty is levied?
If accounts are delivered late, an invoice is issued automatically to your registered office address.
Do the penalties apply to flat management and dormant companies?
How can I avoid penalties?
Read the filing reminders that Companies House send to your registered office address.
Allow enough time to ensure that your accounts reach the Registrar within the period allowed in the Companies Act. First-class post is not guaranteed so if the filing deadline is looming, then consider guaranteed methods of delivery that will ensure that your accounts arrive on time. The Registrar will not waive a penalty if your accounts are delayed in the post.
You can now file certain categories of accounts using Software Filing or Web Filing services on the Companies House website. If you file your accounts electronically, you will benefit from an email acknowledging receipt of your accounts.
What will happen if the penalty is not paid?
The penalty will be referred to collection agents. If it remains unpaid, legal action may be taken which could result in a County Court judgement or a Sheriff Court decree against your company.
Did the Late Filing Penalty changes go for public consultation?
Yes, the original proposals went for public consultation on 20th July 2007, and all responses were required by 12th October 2007.
Copies of the regulations are available on the OPSI website at:
Do late filing penalties apply to any other documents?
Where a company amends its articles of association, a copy of the amended articles must be sent to Companies House within 15 days. Failure to comply is a criminal offense.
The Companies Act 2006 introduces a new civil penalty of £200 for failure tocomply. The penalty will only trigger if a company receives notice from the Registrar requiring it to deliver a copy of its amended articles and it does not comply within 28 days.
The company would remain liable to criminal proceedings in addition to the civil penalty.
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