This article considers three things to note about the new Companies House penalty and filing rules changes.

Penalties

Relatively recently Companies House decided that their penalty regime had not kept pace with inflation therefore from 1 February 2009 all late filing penalties have been increased.

Length of delay from date of accounts due date Previous Penalty Penalty from 1 Feb 2009
Private company Public company Private company Public company
Up to 1 month £100 £500 £150 £750
1 to 3 months £100 £500 £375 £1,500
3 to 6 months £250 £1,000 £750 £3,000
6 to 12 months £500 £2,000 £1,500 £7,500
Over 12 months £1,000 £5,000 £1,500 £7,500

Any second or more consecutive failure to file accounts on time will result in a doubling of penalties. For example, if private company accounts are over 1 month late then in the second year prepare to write a cheque for £1,050!

Shorter Filing Dates

In future companies will have one less month to submit your accounts.

Accounting Period Starting Before 6 April 2008 After 6 April 2008
Limited company & LLP 10 months from the end of the accounting period 9 months from the end of the accounting period
Public limited company 7 months from the end of the accounting period 6 months from the end of the accounting period

The annual accounts to 31 March 2009 will be the last of the regular 12 month accounts to be filed under the old 10 month rule. Year ends 30 April 2009 and later will fall under the new 9 month rule.

Month Ends

Under the old rules a company with a year end date of 28 February would file their accounts by 28 December. But no more as under the new rules the new filing date becomes 30 November, i.e. the end of the ninth month.

Christmas news

If your company has a 31 March year end (and there are many!) then under the new rules I guess Christmas 2011 will be a little more hectic. So is it time to change year ends?

copyright ©2009

This article is for discussion purposes only and does not represent advice on which you should act without consulting a professional as tax legislation is complex and changes frequently.

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