late filing of annual return
My client has been served with summons because his previous accountant did not file the annual return before the deadline despite the acountant confirming to my client that he had done so. The client's parent have both been ill in hospital so he accepted what the accountant said without checking with companies House whether it had been done or not. He only realised that the accountant had not filed when he was served with the summons. The annual return has now been filed. I enquired at Companies House and they said that the client has 2 options. One is to plead guilty and send the forn into court - in this case he does not have to attend the Hearing but he would have a criminal record which would stay for 5 years. The other option is to plead not guilty and attend the Hearing and put his case forward and let the court make the decision. The previous accountant has sent him a letter apologising and saying that it was their fault.
Does anyone have experience of what view the court would take if the client attends and puts all the relevant information to the Court including letter from previous accountant.