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Twitter fined over late accounts

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11th Dec 2012
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Social media website Twitter is fined after failing to file its UK company accounts with Companies House (CH) on time.

The company was due to file its accounts by 30 September, but CH records show they are still outstanding.

Twitter UK and Tweetdeck Ltd have since incurred fines for failing to do so, which will increase the longer they delay. 

The companies have yet to comment on the unfiled accounts, but a spokesperson for Companies House said they are both in default on the submission of their accounts.

"It is a legal requirement undertaken by all company directors within the terms of the Companies Act 2006 to ensure annual accounts are submitted to Companies House in a timely manner," the CH spokesman said.

CH said there is no indication of when Twitter UK will file its accounts, but as a matter of routine, the registrar has written the company urging it to file as soon as possible. 

Failure to supply accounts to the public can result in strike off, CH added.

"At this time they will have already attracted a late filing penalty in accordance with the tariff published on our website," the spokesman said.

"Failure to provide accounts for the public record can, ultimately result in company strike off, however, we some way from that at this stage. Our objective remains, as always, to get the companies concerned to file their account so that these can be made available for public access, which we hope will be a positive conclusion to our continuing correspondence."

The company secretary for both Twitter UK and Tweetdeck, Alexander Macgillivray, is formally responsible for filing the accounts for the UK subsidiaries  of Twitter Inc, based in California.

The company is preparing to expand its teams in both London and Dublin, and has plans to boost advertising revenue by translating Twitter feeds into more than 28 languages.

Replies (8)

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By BryanS1958
12th Dec 2012 12:51

No worthier news today?

There seems to be nothing happening in the world today worthy of comment if the best we can come up with is Twitter not filing accounts on time!  It happens all the time, who cares?:-)

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By Ian McTernan CTA
12th Dec 2012 13:53

Not correct...

This:

While there's no suggestion the company has avoided any tax liability, the accounts are used as a basis to file tax with HMRC.

Not correct- for all we know the CT600 and attached iXBRL accounts could have been filed with HMRC months ago.  Let's not assume something that has no basis in fact.

If anything, the statement is misleading and implies that there is a suggestion that the company may be avoiding a tax liability, given the current witch hunt against multi nationals.

Late submission of accounts to Companies House occurs all the time, which is why they have a penalty system- maybe if they geared the penalty to turnover larger companies might feel the need to submit on time, for a small company the fines can be huge!

There can be a variety of reasons for accounts being late- one of which is tying down the requisite people to get them all approved and signed off by all concerned!

 

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Replying to Accountant A:
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By BryanS1958
12th Dec 2012 14:24

Tax?

Agreed Ian, it does make you wonder why there was any reference to tax at all - being late filing accounts at Companies House can happen for any number of reasons.

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By johnjenkins
13th Dec 2012 09:56

As yet there aren't

any penalties. Penalties are only due when the accounts are filed. So no accounts filed no penalty. It seems quite wierd that there is a fine when accounts are submitted late yet the more important document, the annual return, has no penalty regime.

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Replying to Tom 7000:
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By Roland195
13th Dec 2012 12:12

Why is it more important?

johnjenkins wrote:
yet the more important document, the annual return, has no penalty regime.

Why do you consider the annual return to be the more important document? In many cases, much of the information will be the same as on the accounts. Would it not make more sense to simply require appendices for directors/shareholders details when filing the accounts?

Half as much work for Companies House, far less confusion (of course, there may have to be a few redundancies at CH...)

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By johnjenkins
13th Dec 2012 14:28

We could all

find ways of making things easier for information surrounding companies house. So if we all agree, do away with the annual return and simply have all info on a covering sheet submitted with either abbv. or full accounts. Sounds good to me.

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By Myshkin
14th Dec 2012 11:58

Late Filing Penalties

The problem is that the regime is just plain silly.  To have the same penalties for your local joiner and multinationals is crazy.  Does Twitter really care about £150, £375 fines?  Or bring the striking off forward so that it kicks in if you are one month late.  What's the point of laws if you don't enforced them

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By Ian McTernan CTA
14th Dec 2012 12:54

AR 'Penalty'

Although there is no 'penalty' for the late submission of the annual return, there is a fee involved for the filing of it.

Also, Companies House will automatically start the process of striking off the Company if you fail to submit the annual return for a few months and don't respond to their reminders- so in a way the 'penalty' for not submitting it can be a lot more than not submitting your accounts.

Have to say, the current penalty structure is crazy, should be turnover or asset based (or both) so larger companies are hit in the same proportion as smaller companies.

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