Accounts filing: new ‘breathing space’ for COVID-hit firms

national insurance
By Nick Lloyd | 1st July 2020 | 14 min read

Failure to file accounts with Companies House can lead to fines that run into thousands of pounds.

This has been yet another worry for accountants and the hard hit companies they act for.

COVID-19 adds to compliance pressure cooker

Indeed, the need to comply with reporting requirements has not gone away despite COVID-19, though Companies House recently reported accounts submissions fell by 15% in April and May this year, compared with the same period last year.

The good news is much needed relief has come with new legislation designed to give “breathing space” to companies.

Measures introduced by The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill, which was officially enacted last week, should help to ease the burden on companies and their accountants, allowing them to focus on other matters.

Filing deadlines to be extended

The Act gives the Secretary of State power to implement regulations and extend deadlines for certain filings required by the Companies Act which include:

• Accounts
• Confirmation Statements
• Notices of related relevant events
• Registration of charges

Companies were already able to request a three month filing extension to file their accounts with Companies House but now they will be granted this extension automatically.

It applies to private limited companies and LLP’s with filing deadlines between the 26 March 2020 and 05 April 2021 and public limited Companies with deadlines between 26 March 2020 and 30 September 2020.

Deadlines for other documents filed to Companies House such as the Confirmation Statement (CS01) have increased from 14 days to 42 days.

What are the penalty fees for filing accounts late?

Normally, private companies would face a £150 fine for being even one day late in filing company accounts. This rises to £750 for public companies.

If the accounts are more than six months late these fees can increase to £1,500 and £7,500 respectively.

The penalty fee will be doubled if a company files its accounts late in two successive financial years.

What is IRIS doing about it?

IRIS is here to help our customers successfully navigate this time of great uncertainty. Due to the speed at which this legislation was brought in, we are investigating the best solution, specifically for IRIS Practice Management customers. For further guidance on this legislation please click here

For more help and resources dedicated to customers please visit our hub here or call 0344 844 9644