Under the Companies Act 2006, if accounts are delivered between one day and one month late, private companies face an automatic charge of £150, rising to £750 for public companies. If accounts are over a month late the penalties are much steeper...
Penalty - Private Company Penalty - PLC
Less than 1 month late £150 £750
1 - 3 months late £375 £1,500
3 - 6 months late £750 £3,000
More than 6 months £1,500 £7,500
In 2014 Companies House released data showing that more than 165,000 UK companies had filed their accounts late during the year, resulting in £84m worth of fines being imposed! All companies, whether private and public, large or small, trading or non-trading are required to send their accounts to Companies House ahead of their filing deadline.
It is the legal responsibility of the company (not their accountant!!) if the accounts are filed late. Charles Worth, business law team manager at ICAEW notes, “Companies don’t have requirements to get an accountant to file returns. It’s up to the directors to get the accounts in on time.”
Failure to file accounts for your company is considered a criminal offence which can result in the company directors being personally fined in the criminal courts. Late penalties which are unpaid will be referred to collection agents and could result in a County Court judgement or a Sheriff Court decree against the company.
It is therefore clear that failure to file your accounts on time is a serious matter with significant consequences, not only financially speaking.
For this reason we as your accountants make every effort to remind you of your company's filing deadlines, both at your year end and as your deadline approaches if we have not yet received your records. Ensuring your records are passed to us well ahead of your deadline assists us in making sure your accounts are prepared and filed in good time and no penalties are imposed.
If you are unsure of your filing deadline or are concerned your accounts are going to be late please do not hesitate to give us a call to discuss.