30th September is a common accounts deadline, with around 300,000 UK businesses due to file their annual company accounts by that date. Last year alone, 25,049 companies missed the September accounts deadline (and an additional 643 filed in the final hour), contributing toward the 223,640 late filing penalties handed out by Companies House last year.
If you find that your company needs to deliver accounts by the end of September, it’s quicker and easier to file online – and no paperwork or signatures are required. Paper accounts, on the other hand, must be manually checked by Companies House staff during business hours, often taking more than a week to process.
Does my company need to file accounts at Companies House?
The requirement to file annual accounts at Companies House applies to all companies, regardless of size. Whether your company is trading, non-trading, or dormant, you must deliver accounts to Companies House 9 months after the end of your company’s financial year, which is normally 12 months long and ends on a specified date called the ‘accounting reference date’ (ARD).
However, the deadline for filing your first accounts at Companies House is 21 months after your company’s incorporation date.
If your company is trading and your accounts are due, we would advise contacting your accountant as soon as possible to prepare and file full (‘statutory’) annual accounts before the deadline.
If your company is currently non-trading or dormant and has had ‘no significant accounting transactions’ for the past 12 months, you need only prepare dormant accounts.
The following transactions are not considered significant:
- Payment of subscribers’ shares
- Companies House disbursement fees (e.g. confirmation statement £13.00)
- Payment of late account filing fines
To help you to meet the deadline and save you a great deal of money in accountancy fees, 1st Formations’ highly trained staff can prepare and file your Dormant Company Accounts within 24 hours for only £49.99, even if you’re not currently a customer.
How to order our Dormant Company Accounts Service
- If you are one of our existing customers, simply log in to your online account, go to the SHOP, and purchase our Dormant Company Accounts Service for £49.99.
- If you are not currently an existing customer of 1st Formations, you can easily create an account, navigate to the SHOP section, and purchase our Dormant Company Accounts Service for £49.99.
- Alternatively, you can order this service without creating an account by following this link: https://www.1stformations.co.uk/dormant-company-accounts/
As soon as you have placed your order, we will send you an email with a short questionnaire re- your accounts, which you will need to complete and return to us as soon as possible. We will ensure that your accounts are filed within 24 hours (1 working day) of receiving the completed questionnaire.
Penalties for late company accounts
Failing to deliver company accounts on time is a criminal offence. As such, the penalties for late company accounts are pretty hefty. Fines start at £150 for accounts that are filed up to one month late, increasing to £1,500 for accounts that are 6 months late. These penalties double if you file late accounts two years in a row.
Your company directors are personally responsible for ensuring that all statutory obligations are met; therefore, they could be prosecuted if they do not submit company accounts on time. Furthermore, the reputation of your directors and company could be seriously damaged, your business could face credit rating issues, and your company could even be struck off the register.
In exceptional cases, you can appeal against late filing penalties if you can prove that the circumstances were beyond your control (e.g. a fire destroyed your records). However, Companies House has rejected the following excuses, so you can’t use these:
- I found my wife in the bath with my accountant
- Pirates stole my accounts
- A volcano erupted
- Goats ate my accounts
Evidently, Companies House plays hardball and takes no prisoners. The best course of action, therefore, is to keep on top of your responsibilities and ensure that your annual accounts are delivered before the filing deadline.