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Companies House late filing penalty

Companies House late filing penalty


I have recently sent in a set of clients accounts on the 26th Feb for a May 31st year end.  It was there first trading period, and the compnay incorporated on the 19th May 2008.  I have received a penalty letter stating that the accounts were late and should have been filied by the 19th!  But then I have other clients who have incorporated mid month and have been given nine months from the year end to file!  I am confused, why are there varying rules across my client base? Is there anyway i can appeal this penalty?

Any help would be very much appreciated.



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By Anonymous
11th Mar 2010 21:56

The answer ...

... lies in the accounting reference date. For first accounts, filing date is earlier of 21 months from date of incorporation and 9 months from end of period of account. In this case , the earlier of 19 Feb and 28 Feb.

If for example, your client had drawn up accounts to 30 April instead of 31 May the filing date would have been 31 January, ie end of month. So I guess the other clients you refer to had initial accounting periods of less than 12 months.

I don't think there is much hope of a successful appeal. Sorry if this sounds rude, but if you are preparing and submitting accounts on behalf of clients you really ought to know the rules. Unless the delay can be blamed on the client, I would be offering to pay the penalty in this case.


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12th Mar 2010 09:37

Recent rule change

Remember that the statutory date for filing accounts has only recently changed to nine months after the accounting year end (21 month after incorporation).

It is likely your other new clients had a full nine months to file their accounts as the rules were different before the end of January 2010.

As the other poster states you should take the penalty on the chin for the client and learn from your mistake.


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12th Mar 2010 11:25

CH website & reminders

Companies House website does display filing deadlines, make a point of checking all new clients, first year trading and anyone who changes their year end. Companies House also send a reminder about a month before clearly showing the deadline to the Registered Office so if that is not you, then you have one (debateable) argument that the company themselves were advised and it is Directors and Company Secretary's responsibility to ensure these deadlines are met. As Registered Office for hundreds of companies myself, I have to say these never seem to get lost in the post!


It's very worth checking initial accouting periods with the Revenue as well as they also send a letter (early in the first year admittedly and I have seen so many people file them or shred them and not note the content) I try to make a point of checking these as I have a percentage that get issued quoting the first accouting period end being the date of incorporation and they are rapidly followed by penalties! I just so love sorting these ones out. ( I trust my sarcasm came over in type there)


Worth also mentioning, in the first year,  that some tax can be due on the first accounting period earlier than a balance due for the second small period to take the 365 from incorporation to the end of the month which is year end as you know it, so be careful what payment due deadlines you quote before you receive your Revenue confirmations.

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12th Mar 2010 11:54

Are Companies House wrong?

In fairness to Lisa, I'm not convinced that Companies House are always getting this correct at the moment.

We have one client, for example, that was incorporated on 19 November 2008, whose year end we have altered to 31 March.

My understanding is that the company's first accounts (from 19 November 2008 to 31 March 2010) have to be with Companies House by 19 August 2010, being 21 months from the date of incorporation.

Companies House are, however, showing that the company's accounts are due on 31 August 2010 which, unless I am missing something, is wrong.


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12th Mar 2010 12:34

Thanks for the help

 Thank you everyone who has answered my question. I am aware of the rules but was concerned of the discrepancy from one client to the next.  My other client who has been given a full 9 months after period end also has an accounting period of just over 12 months so this is where it is confusing.

I do not receive the companies reminders and I have had difficulty getting the information out of this client this year due to circumstances in his personal life that has meant he was  not contactable for a while.  so we were sailing very close to the wind anyway!

I am a bit disappointed though with how some people in this forum are so quick to judge others when I clearly stated that there were genuine discrepancies that I didn't understand.  i don't believe that even an organisation like companies house are correct 100% of the time!  So again thank you for those who were constructive and supportive in their replies.


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