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Companies House: File your accounts early this December to avoid a penalty

All limited companies, whether they trade or not, must deliver accounts to Companies House each year. This includes dormant companies.

Understanding your responsibilities

It’s the directors’ responsibility to file their company’s accounts, and make sure they’re filed on time. It’s important to understand your role and how late filing could affect your company.

Missing your filing deadline could affect your credit score or access to finance. It can affect how others view your company and whether they want to do business with you. There are also financial penalties and legal consequences – you could get a criminal record, a fine or disqualification.

If you employ an accountant to file your company’s accounts, it’s still your responsibility, as director, to make sure they’re filed on time.

Using digital filing routes

Over 65% of companies use software filing as their preferred method.

There are a variety of software providers which offer a range of accounting packages to prepare and file accounts. Most types of accounts can be filed using software, depending on the functionality of the software package you’re using.

If you file using our online services we’ll send you an email to confirm we’ve received your accounts. We’ll send you another email when we’ve registered your accounts.

File your company’s accounts online before your deadline.

To file online, you may need your company authentication code. If you need to request a new code, you should allow up to 5 days for this to arrive at the company’s registered office.

Avoid rejections

You should only send paper accounts if your company cannot file online or by software.

Accounts filed on paper need to be manually checked. We can only check them during office opening hours, and they can take over a week to process.

If you need to file your accounts on paper, you should send them to us well before the deadline. This will give you plenty of time to correct your accounts and resend them if they are rejected.

It’s also important to make sure you send all documents to the correct Companies House office. This will help avoid any delays, as your documents may be re-directed and they’ll take longer to reach us.

You should consider using a guaranteed next day delivery and note any industrial disputes or other factors, which may make it difficult for a carrier to deliver on time.

We cannot accept postal delays as a reason to appeal a late filing penalty.

Changes to UK company law

On 26 October 2023, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill achieved royal assent and became law. This is one of the most significant moments for Companies House in our long history.

As a director, it’s important that you understand how these changes will affect you and your company. There are new rules for all companies, including changes to the way you file your annual accounts.

Visit Changes to UK company law.

Guidance and support

Register for email reminders to know when your accounts are due. You can also check your filing deadline on our Find and update company information service.

Watch our YouTube videos for guidance on how to use our online services.

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Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/file-your-accounts-early-this-december-to-avoid-a-penalty

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