Companies House has issued a press release to remind companies to keep on top of their filing responsibilities. The end of this month, 30 September 2019, marks a common deadline for many companies who will need to file their company accounts with a 31 December 2018 year-end date. Last year, a total of 25,049 companies failed to meet the 30 September 2018, filing deadline.
In fact, we are told that another 643 companies narrowly avoided a penalty. They actually filed their accounts in the final hour before the deadline. In total, 223,640 late filing penalties were handed out in 2018.
Companies House also published some of the bizarre excuses it has received for late filings including:
- I found my wife in the bath with my accountant,
- pirates stole my accounts,
- a volcano erupted, and
- goats ate my accounts and prevented me from filing!
The late filing penalties are designed to encourage companies to file their accounts and reports on time. The penalties for late submission by a private limited company are as follows:
How late are the accounts delivered
Not more than one month
More than one month but not more than three months
More than three months but not more than six months
More than six months
The penalty is automatically issued if your accounts are filed late and the penalties are doubled if your accounts are late 2 years in a row.
Failure to file confirmation statements or accounts is a criminal offence which could see the directors 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 your company.
It is possible to appeal against a penalty, but there are strict circumstances for doing so including that you must be able to prove that the circumstances were outside of your control.