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Companies House filing

Skip a year with filing

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I have a client. They are late with their August 2020 accounts. Just a bit.

Due to Covid extension and shorten a day, the deadline was actually end November 21 for Aug 20. The filing penalty is therefore £750 at present.

At the end of the month, the penalty goes from £750 to £1,800 (being £750 to £1,500 for the Aug 20 accounts, and to £300 (double £150) for the August 21 accounts). I'm working towards getting both done this month and hope to meet that deadline.

I was chatting to another manager today, talking about the shorten a day trick and what have you. He then suggested (which I'm aware of): "File August 21. Do not file August 20."

Does this still work? My understanding was it doesn't anymore..... but I'm wondering?

(I'm disinclined to do the client any favours, they've messed us around a lot over the last few years and the current issues with records is the worst I've ever seen)

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ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
06th May 2022 00:04

I’m sorry, what would doing that solve?

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
RLI
By lionofludesch
06th May 2022 07:20

No penalty for the 2020 accounts.

Though I too thought that particular door had been slammed shut.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
Flag of the Soviet Union
By thevaliant
06th May 2022 10:44

I thought it had too.
Partner who tried it a couple of years ago reported that he simply received a maximum penalty for the skipped year.

I may not bother trying to avoid the penalty. It looks bad because of the missed filing and is unethical. I probably won't give the client the choice.

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By Tax is always taxing
06th May 2022 08:43

Never tried that one.

Surprising if they were on the ball enough to shorten by 1 day, they didn't then remember to shorten by another, and another.

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Replying to Tax is always taxing:
RLI
By lionofludesch
06th May 2022 09:04

There comes a point where an accounting period is neither the current period nor the immediately preceding period.

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Replying to Tax is always taxing:
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By Mr_awol
09th May 2022 10:10

I think you can only shorten twice

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Replying to Mr_awol:
RLI
By lionofludesch
09th May 2022 12:17

Mr_awol wrote:

I think you can only shorten twice

It's not that so much as you can only shorten the current period and the previous one. But - yes - shortening twice would take you into another year, which would mean you trying to shorten the period before last.

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By Mr_awol
09th May 2022 10:10

Ive done it many years ago with an old Annual Return - but never accounts. I had heard it 'might' work but like others my understanding was that the Companies House computer had been upgraded to close this loophole.

I suppose if you just file them, and see what happens, you could always go back and file 2020 later, but as you are aware that might cause you to lose the 'double or quits' bet on £750 of the penalty.

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By ABD
11th May 2022 10:01

you can shorten the aug 21 now and avoid a penalty on that because you will get 3 months from today.

for the aug 20 either you file now and take £750 or the director can choose to breach the companies act and not file and risk a £3k fine later if they have to file

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Replying to ABD:
RLI
By lionofludesch
11th May 2022 11:07

ABD wrote:

you can shorten the aug 21 now and avoid a penalty on that because you will get 3 months from today.

for the aug 20 either you file now and take £750 or the director can choose to breach the companies act and not file and risk a £3k fine later if they have to file

Better still - wait a couple of weeks.

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By Rgab1947
11th May 2022 10:23

Helping a client dodge statutory obligations? Ethics here IMHO.

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RW
By RichardWelbourne
11th May 2022 11:30

We did this recently by accident, had two years to file at once, did the later one first by mistake. After a lot of swearing we noticed that Companies House website had updated to show no accounts due. I hadn't heard of this 'being a thing' before then so I was quite surprised. That was nearly a year ago and still no penalty.

A friend also did it a few months ago - again no penalty. We did phone Companies House and they said we couldn't do it. They wanted the company number to check but sadly we couldn't find it at the time... Still nervously waiting but it appears to still work.

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Morph
By kevinringer
11th May 2022 13:55

If the company is not penalised, they will think all that you might have told them about late filing penalties was nonsense. They will reckon it's ok to be late next year, and so on. But if they are charged a penalty, they will realise you were right and it does cost them if they don't comply.

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