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Company ? – Missing a filing deadline will lead to a fine

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Companies House letter

Missing a Company Filing Deadline

The normal deadline for filing private limited company accounts is 9 months after the company’s financial year end, known as the accounting reference date. For example, many companies have a year-end date of 31 March and are therefore required to file their accounts by 31 December. For public companies, the time limit is 6 months from the year end.

The deadline for filing your first set of accounts with Companies House can be complicated. If the first set of accounts cover a period of more than 12 months, the filing deadlines are as follows:

  • Within 21 months of the date of incorporation for private companies
  • Within 18 months of the date of incorporation for public companies
  • Or (for either company type) 3 months from the accounting reference date, if this is longer than the above time limits.

For example, a private company incorporated on 1 January 2019 with an accounting reference date of 31 January, has until midnight on 1 October 2020 (21 months from the date of incorporation) to deliver its accounts.

If the first set of private company accounts cover a period of 12 months or less, then the normal filing deadline applies.

It is very important that the deadlines are adhered to as if they are missed, even by a few hours, then automatic fines are applied starting at £150 in the first month and rising significantly thereafter. The actual penalty will depend on how long has passed from the due date for receipt and whether the company is private or public.

There are hardly ever any opportunities to appeal the penalty imposed.