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Avoiding companies house penalities

Can my client file two years accounts at companies house

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My client who a limited company that owns three properties.

He has £1500 companies house penalities for failure to file accounts for 2017/2018.

Accounts for 2018-19 are also due now.

Can we file 2017-18 & 2018-19  accounts together to prevent the £1500 penalty ?  I am also thinking how this will impact future borrowings if he misses one year filing at companies house.  I imagine the credit rating for the company would already been poor.

 

 

 

 

Replies (17)

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RLI
By lionofludesch
08th Jan 2020 12:06

Course he can file two years together !

But I think the penalty still stands.

If you want to try something off the wall, try not filing the first set at all.

Or - and this may not have occurred to your client - file accounts on time.

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Caroline
By accountantccole
08th Jan 2020 12:11

Seem to recall there used to be a theory that if you filed the more recent year and never the earlier one then the debt didn't crystalise unless you get chased and eventually file later. If they have 3 properties they can afford the fines and if it hurts it might stop them doing it again

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Replying to accountantccole:
RLI
By lionofludesch
08th Jan 2020 12:24

The penalty is for filing late. so no filing, no penalty.

The snag is that the directors risk prosecution for not filing at all.

Thanks (1)
Replying to lionofludesch:
Psycho
By Wilson Philips
08th Jan 2020 12:35

And Companies House now appear to have started aggressively threatening to strike off companies for non-filing of accounts - one client received a warning letter only 7 days after the filing deadline (and it was the company's first default).

Thanks (1)
Replying to accountantccole:
Caroline
By accountantccole
08th Jan 2020 12:42

Suspected it was some time ago and current practice wouldn't advise this

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Replying to accountantccole:
RLI
By lionofludesch
08th Jan 2020 12:51

accountantccole wrote:

Suspected it was some time ago and current practice wouldn't advise this

If I had a client this far behind, he would have been politely asked to go elsewhere.

Thanks (2)
avatar
By Roland195
08th Jan 2020 13:17

It used to be that if you filed the subsequent year, the penalty would not be issued as mentioned but more importantly (arguably), the record would be regarded as up to date so no further action taken. I don't know if this is still the case (polishing my halo) and can't confirm if this would stop a strike off action already in place. Worth a shot though.

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JCACE
By jcace
08th Jan 2020 13:46

You will need to file two sets of accounts - one for each year. You can't combine the two years into one set of accounts.

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Replying to jcace:
RLI
By lionofludesch
08th Jan 2020 13:52

That's not the point being debated.

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My photo
By Matrix
08th Jan 2020 14:19

As others have said, I read on here in the past that there is no penalty if you just file 2018-19 so you would not file 2017-18 at all. You would not file them together since that would trigger the penalty.

(Unless your client has already received a penalty, in which case I doubt it would make much difference, fortunately I don’t have much experience of CH penalties.)

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Jennifer Adams
By Jennifer Adams
08th Jan 2020 18:31

Last year Co House issued a consultation paper on the changes they were looking to make in the future.
See here for comment:
https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/business/finance-strategy/consultation-p...
>> this 'tightening up' of procedure that 'Wilson' mentions is part of Co House overall strategy.
As 'lion' says - the penalty is for filing late.
As accountantcole says - filing latter one pre previous one used to work but I've tried filing a latter set of accounts via Taxfiler when client had not submitted prior years and it doesnt let you - it says you have to file the previous year 1st.

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Nefertiti
By Nefertiti
15th Jan 2020 10:24

No way to avoid the penalty, best to file and pay it as soon as possible to avoid further charges or the company being struck off.

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By pauljohnston
15th Jan 2020 11:12

I too believe that if the current accounts are filed on time the penalties for theprevious one may disappear.

But the comment about company directors beinf procecuted brings home truths.

You could try filing the most recent and then discussing the older one with the directors.

Unless the older set is the first set of accounts much of the info for the missing year will be with companies house because of the comparatives in accounts.

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Replying to pauljohnston:
RLI
By lionofludesch
15th Jan 2020 11:24

pauljohnston wrote:

I too believe that if the current accounts are filed on time the penalties for theprevious one may disappear.

It was true but I don't think it still is. I'd be interested to know though.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By David Gordon FCCA
15th Jan 2020 11:32

As light relief from the final tax returns:
It is again depressing that an accountant in public practice is really not familiar with Company House procedures.
Fines are automatic, off the computer, untouched by human hand. When the accounts go in the fine is raised, Simple. Eventually the Co Hse computer picks up missing accounts, so do not
be "Clever".
The grounds for appealing a fine are heavily restricted.
Compared to HMRC Co Hse is a pleasure to deal with.

Banks: When a member of the big four banks gave a company an almost seven figure I asked how could you do this, the company is five years behind with filing?
The bank person's answer was:
"We do not care, we have the property".

We cannot win!!

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By towat
15th Jan 2020 13:24

There is no way to avoid the earlier year penalty that I know of, also be aware that the second year peanlties will be doubled.

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By Charlie Carne
07th Feb 2020 12:05

So much misunderstanding here, but it's very simple. If you file a set of accounts late, Companies House will issue a penalty. If last year's accounts were not filed and you never file them, then there cannot be a penalty (as the penalty only kicks in for filing late). If you file this year's accounts at Companies House, then the "next filing date" flag moves onto next year. There does not (at the moment) appear to be a system at Companies House that picks up on the fact that a set of accounts was missing prior to the latest filed set. Technically, this can make the directors liable for prosecution for non-filing but I have never heard of such a prosecution being taken. Were the directors to be prosecuted and, to comply, they filed the missing accounts, those accounts would by then be VERY late and the late filing penalty would be VERY high, so it may not be worth the risk of filing a later year to cover a missing earlier year, even though it is unlikely to be picked up.

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