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Companies House becoming the new HMRC

Companies House becoming the new HMRC

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I posted on Any Answers a few days ago about my client being unable to post a set of accounts to me.

Well, the accounts I had collected from him and I sent to Companies House have just been rejected!

Companies House said they had the wrong note to the balance sheet but they hadn't realised the accounts were only for 9 months!

I phoned up Companies House and was told that there's no penalty because they don't need to be submitted for a while yet. I told them there won't be a penalty if I sent them back in ten years time because they have already been submitted! If Companies House choose to send them to me that's their business.

This is another example of Government organisations thinking that they can cut corners and subject their "customers" to extra hassle in an attempt to reduce their costs whereas we have to get things right or face penalties.

Should I ask them to pay an £100 plus VAT invoice for returning the accounts to them? Has anybody got any better ideas to encourage Companies House to check their actions before rejecting accounts?

Replies (11)

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By Anonymous
19th Feb 2010 09:24

DCA rejected

We have just had a form DCA rejected because it doen't contain the correct wording. This is the form we downloaded from Companies House website!

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By Anonymous
19th Feb 2010 09:38

We started getting abb accts rejected...

...because the name of the person signing the balance sheet wasn't printed below.  Co House advised us that it would be sufficient to hand write underneath and resubmit.

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By carnmores
19th Feb 2010 14:59

Peter - me again

do we know if they have the power to reject accounts beacuse there is something wrong withe wording for example - i have had this happen on an LLP and then they sent them back to the wrong place so increased fines

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By petersaxton
19th Feb 2010 15:19

Grounds for appeal?

They do if it refers to the wrong legislation. Mine quite rightly referred to CA 2006 because the accounting period started after 5 April 2008 but the period was only for nine months so they must have just looked at the period end date being 31 March 2009 and assumed the accounts were for 12 months.

In your case I would have thought you had a good case for appear if they didn't send the accounts to either the registered office or where they were sent from.

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By stepurhan
19th Feb 2010 16:46

Different for LLPs

Had a set of accounts sent back. Stated reason was that the start of the accounting period was after 6 April 2008 and so it should refer to Companies Act 2006. I called up and pointed out it was an LLP and these requirements didn't come in until years commencing on or after 1 October 2008 for LLPs. Ah, they said. Send it back and we'll make sure it gets processed this time.

Credit to the person on the Companies House contact line though. They said to mention them by name so the processors would have an internal reference for why they were fine.

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By petersaxton
19th Feb 2010 16:55

Companies House are careless

Any sensible person would ensure there are checks by people who know the rules and consider the document carefully before accounts are returned.

It would appear that Companies House don't care what they do.

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By cymraeg_draig
19th Feb 2010 18:24

Civil serpants

Companies House - HMRC - but both are civil serpants, and this petty nit-picking attitude seems to be rampant within the whole civil service.

Instead of serving the public who pay their wages, which used to be the attitude, over the last few years there has been a shift in attitude so that now they treat everyone as though we are mere peasants who they control and how dare we argue with them.

At least after the next election drastic cuts in public expenditure might, with luck, mean there are less of them trying to strangle business with their infantile petty mindedness.

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By David Winch
26th Feb 2010 10:40

Glad I'm Not The Only One ...

... but sad to think it is at all prevalent.

I queried Companies house recently about their WebCheck page showing accounts overdue when they'd been submitted several weeks previously.  I received the following.

"I can confirm that our WebCheck service no longer shows that the 2009 accounts for the above company are overdue.

Unfortunately due to an administrative error the accounts for 2008 received on 31/12/2009 were placed on file on in error as the ones for 2009.  The actual accounts for 2009 were then returned by mistake as duplicates.

The 2008 accounts were correctly re-entered on 04/02/2010 with the original date of receipt of 21/12/2009 and the 2009 re-entered today with the original date of receipt of 28/01/2010.

Please accept my apologies for the errors made and for any inconvenience that this may have caused."

In the words of my old Headmaster - "Could do better!"

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By andyhopkins
26th Feb 2010 10:50

.....Or Get Off The Pot

It would seem any checking of Companies Act references/etc. are done at random, not for all accounts submitted.

I've just downloaded a set filed for a company with a December 2009 year end which makes multiple references to Companies Act 1985 and FRSSE (January 2007)!!!!!!!

I wish they'd make their mind up and either train people to do the job properly and thoroughly (wow a flying pig) or not bother.


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By Anonymous
26th Feb 2010 11:14

Paper Size...

 I had a set of accounts rejected once because the paper wasn't A4 sized (the client had signed a draft set of accounts by mistake, so we simply guillotined the top 5mm off)!


Bet they wouldn't reject them if the Balance Sheet didn't balance though!

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By Nigel Hughes
26th Feb 2010 11:27

Companies Act references etc

There is a huge muddle here, and the exact role of Companies House in it all is unclear.

There are different CA 2006 references for the directors' statement on the balance sheet of unaudited companies in the FRSSE, the guidance on the CH website and what is printed out when you submit a set of accounts online.

When I was following up a query last summer a really helpful gentleman at CH said that CH wanted to reduce the level of rejections on a technicality and that they therefore were happy to get rid of unneccesary section references if possible.

Yesterday I came across a case of some unaudited LLP accounts which were rejected. The guidance notes supplied by CH to the practitioner specified reference to S477(c) of the Act, where I'm sure a reference to S477 or just "under the Companies Act" would suffice, although it seems unclear whether this was the reason for the rejection.

What I do know is that the guidance supplied by CH for LLPs after the first paragraph starts to refer to "the company" and "directors", so the editing process has clearly not been very successful.

We also have the issue of where the company number should appear, and what appears to be a very narrow interpretation of the legal requirements.

I suppose when filing using iXBRL becomes compulsory, all of this will disappear, but it also seems to give an indication that the switch to online filing is unlikely to be painless and stress free.

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