There are late filing penalties which are designed to encourage companies to file their accounts and reports on time. All companies, private and public, large or small, trading or non-trading must send their accounts to Companies House. 

There is also an online service available to appeal a late filing penalty, but you must be able to show that the reasons for filing late were exceptional. The registrar has very limited discretion not to collect a penalty. For example, if the company director or accountant experienced an unexpected illness, including coronavirus this may be an acceptable reason to appeal a late filing penalty. An appeal can be lodged online at

It takes about 30 minutes to apply online and you should ensure you have the following information to hand:

  • the company number
  • the company authentication code that you use for online filing
  • the penalty reference
  • the reason for the appeal
  • any documents that support the appeal

Any documents you upload, such as a doctor’s note or an insurance claim, must include:

  • the full name of the person or company affected
  • any relevant dates

You can also appeal a penalty by email or post.