Nick Lloyd
3 minutes length
Posted: 14th May 2020

Companies House and COVID-19: IRIS supports digital filing of paper-only forms

Pandemic causing delays for vital documents sent to CHS

Digital PDFs through IRIS Company Secretarial offer solution

Accountants have faced many and varied problems during the coronavirus crisis – with delays affecting important Companies House (CHS) forms among the latest.

CHS has reported “experiencing delays in processing paper forms due to the impact of coronavirus”.


Of the many CHS forms, not all can be filed online and at the moment have to be sent by post. This means someone has to receive and handle them, along with a cheque, at the other side. Clearly, with the current situation – the need for social distancing and the potential to spread infection on surfaces – this is less than ideal.


IRIS in talks with CHS to help customers


As we strive to alleviate some of these added pressures for accountants, and aim to give our customers as much support as we can in these uncertain times, IRIS has been liaising with Companies House to ensure that your business-critical software remains compliant and, most of all, operational at this time.


Our team have been discussing the issue of paper only forms with CHS, particularly regarding an online service CHS is working on to securely upload and transmit documents. We have been talking to CHS about how this will work and the timelines for when other paper-only forms will become acceptable using this digital method.


IRIS software to assist in paper challenge


We’ve been reassured by CHS that, once this new system is up and running, any PDFs created within our software, for those forms that have traditionally been filed by paper, will be accepted by this service.


So, in other words, customers will be able to produce forms that were previously paper-only as digital PDFs within IRIS Company Secretarial or PTP Share Register and then send to Companies House through the new portal.


We hope that this will make customers’ lives easier, enabling you to avoid having to make unnecessary trips outdoors to use Royal Mail or visit the Post Office, while also avoiding the delays that have been occurring so far.


The registrar’s powers prefixed documents, which are used to rectify anything that was submitted incorrectly, are among the early forms that will be possible to submit digitally.


CHS makes changes to support businesses


Some other recent important notices from Companies House include:


• Temporary Changes to Strike offs and Late Filing Penalties Policies
From 1 April 2020 the Strike off process has been paused to prevent companies being inadvertently dissolved even if a (DS01) striking off application by Company has been submitted. Application appeals against late filing penalties as a result of COVID-19 will also be “treated sympathetically”
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-guidance-for-companies-house-customers-employees-and-suppliers#changes-to-strike-off-policy-and-late-filing-penalties

• 3 Month extension to file accounts
From 25 March 2020 all companies have been given the option to extend the accounts filing deadline by 3 month, a formal application must be made to enable this extension
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-more-time-to-file-your-companys-accounts

• Same Day Filing Service Suspended
From 17 March 2020 Same day submission services were suspended. The two standout events being Incorporations (IN01, & LLI01) and notice of change of name (NM01).
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/companies-house-same-day-services#history
What next?
IRIS is here to help our customers and bring certainty in these times of great uncertainty. For more resources to help you, visit our hub here.