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Dormant Company Received Late Filing Fee

Would resignation of the only director circumvent having to pay the late filing fee?

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Hello

I have a dormant limited company that I applied to be struck off in March 2020. A notice was posted in the Gazette on 31/03/2020 of the intention to strike the business off. To date, I have not received confirmation of the strike off.

In that time, I received reminders to file accounts up to 31/07/2020. I knew it was my legal duty to do so so these were filed on 14/07/2020 and as a result, the director (me) received a fine of £325 for late filing of accounts.

The company has literally never traded, has 0 assets and no cash - not even a bank account for that matter. Needless to say, a fine of this size for a company that only exists in paper terms, seems excessive. I appreciate these are the rules and I am kicking myself for my naivety/ignorance and lack of experience.

I am the only named director of the company. If I resign, does this circumvent having to pay the late filing fee as there will be no directors for the company? Is the late filing fee preventing the closure of the company and thirdly, will the company eventually be closed, again negating the need to pay the late filing fee if I simply wait and see?

My goal here is to establish if there is any scenario whereby I won't have to pay this fee.

Many thanks in advance

Replies (15)

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
20th Jul 2020 17:41

That is such a bizarre mess to get into I have no idea if they enforce those fines (resigning wont help), but I would speak to Companies House myself, but it looks like you just paid a "I didn't take any advice as its just a waste of money tax" of £325.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By Regal2411
20th Jul 2020 18:57

Interesting that you think it's bizarre, I think it's quite an unspectacular set of circumstances. I filled out DS01 and paid £10 fee to close company, received reminders to file accounts in the meantime, finally filed accounts, got fine, still waiting for company to be closed.

I think a call to Companies House will need to be made as the 3-month objection window to the closing down proposal has passed and they seemingly haven't yet struck off the company and my worry is that it's because of the outstanding fee.

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Replying to Regal2411:
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By Paul Crowley
20th Jul 2020 19:21

Do not waste your time. They are not taking calls and they are not currently striking off companies.
One other thread for each of those issues.

All of this stuff is on companies house website

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Regal2411
20th Jul 2020 19:08

Thanks Paul

Just read their update that they will restart the voluntary strike off process from September 10th. If no objections have been received it'll be struck off within a few days.

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By thevaliant
20th Jul 2020 18:07

Yes. File form DS01 and pay £10.
Thereafter, ignore it.

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Replying to thevaliant:
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By Regal2411
20th Jul 2020 18:59

Thanks thevaliant.

Is this speaking from experience? There's no legal obligation on me as the only director appointed at the time the late filing fee notice was sent to pay it off if the company is struck off?

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By Wanderer
20th Jul 2020 18:56

Regal2411 wrote:
Dormant Company Received Late Filing Fee
Would resignation of the only director circumvent having to pay the late filing fee?

Hello

I have a dormant limited company that I applied to be struck off in March 2020. A notice was posted in the Gazette on 31/03/2020 of the intention to strike the business off. To date, I have not received confirmation of the strike off.

In that time, I received reminders to file accounts up to 31/07/2020. I knew it was my legal duty to do so so these were filed on 14/07/2020 and as a result, the director (me) received a fine of £325 for late filing of accounts.

The company has literally never traded, has 0 assets and no cash - not even a bank account for that matter. Needless to say, a fine of this size for a company that only exists in paper terms, seems excessive. I appreciate these are the rules and I am kicking myself for my naivety/ignorance and lack of experience.

I am the only named director of the company. If I resign, does this circumvent having to pay the late filing fee as there will be no directors for the company? Is the late filing fee preventing the closure of the company and thirdly, will the company eventually be closed, again negating the need to pay the late filing fee if I simply wait and see?

My goal here is to establish if there is any scenario whereby I won't have to pay this fee.

Many thanks in advance

Classic case of a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Rather than asking accountants now you would have been much, much better off retaining an accountant before you even formed said company.
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Replying to Wanderer:
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By Regal2411
20th Jul 2020 19:05

Yes obviously - a potentially expensive and valuable lesson learned. I'm sure you can remember the amount of paperwork involved in starting and managing a fledgling company can be overwhelming, I'll seek professional support next time.

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Replying to Regal2411:
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By Wanderer
20th Jul 2020 19:15

Just so you know this is the mistake you made which is causing you the hassle and which a two minute phone call to a (retained) accountant would have avoided the scenario that you are now in.

Regal2411 wrote:

In that time, I received reminders to file accounts up to 31/07/2020. I knew it was my legal duty to do so so these were filed on 14/07/2020

You've actually got that statement wrong as well. You probably mean accounts to 31/07/2019.
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By legerman
20th Jul 2020 19:42

Just to put your mind at rest, the fine will be erased once the Company has been struck off. Not paying it will not stop Co House striking the Company off. You will probably hear from debt collectors in the meantime (once they are back up and running) simply inform them the Company is being struck off and they should leave you alone.

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Replying to legerman:
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By jajo
22nd Jul 2020 17:18

legerman wrote:

Just to put your mind at rest, the fine will be erased once the Company has been struck off. Not paying it will not stop Co House striking the Company off. You will probably hear from debt collectors in the meantime (once they are back up and running) simply inform them the Company is being struck off and they should leave you alone.

Absolutely correct, let the company be dissolved and the penalty will not be chased by companies house. Worth calling / emailing them to inform them of the position

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By johnt27
20th Jul 2020 22:22

In reality the likelihood is that Companies House will give up pursuing the late filing penalty, but to get a £325 fine you're looking at a long overdue set of accounts, not the 31 July 2020 as noted, for which you will have received a few reminders and then a notification or two that a penalty would be levied once late.

Having said that, as filing accounts is a statutory duty of a company director CoHo are perfectly within their rights to pursue you personally for the debt, having failed one of these duties...

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Replying to johnt27:
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By Paul Crowley
21st Jul 2020 04:24

Penalty looks correct to me
More than a month late.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By andrew1211
21st Jul 2020 10:15

Thought it was £375??

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Replying to andrew1211:
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By Regal2411
21st Jul 2020 11:07

Yes, more than a month late and fee is £375 - original post was written in haste and didn’t sense check.

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