1. Introduction
  • Companies House has procedures in place to enable the majority of documents to be electronically filed.
  • Companies House has closed their contact centre and are only accepting enquires via email at enquiries@companieshouse.gov.uk.
    • They have advised they will respond as soon as possible so do not expect a quick response.

 

  1. Statutory accounts – extension of filing deadline
  • If a company is affected by COVID 19 and unable to file their accounts by the statutory deadline Companies House have developed a dedicated electronic form to apply for an automatic extension of 3 months.
  • It is important to note the following before seeking a filing extension:
    • Companies that have already extended their filing deadline, or shortened their accounting reference period, may not be eligible for an extension;
    • Companies that have passed their filing deadline cannot apply for the 3 months automatic extension.
  • For companies that have amended their accounting reference date, we would advise an email is sent requesting an extension to Companies House instead of using the automatic form.
  • If you do not apply for an extension and your accounts have been subsequently filed late, an automatic penalty will be imposed:
    • The Registrar has very limited discretion not to collect a penalty;
    • You are able to appeal any fines – appeals based upon the impact of COVID-19 will be considered.

 

  1. Confirmation Statements
  • The Company must deliver a Confirmation Statement at least once in any 12 month period;
  • Companies House already offer 2 weeks extra to file this;
  • There is no penalty for the late submission but Companies House will look to remove the Company from the register.
    • Thus far there has been no guidance issued to advise if striking offs will be put on hold during this period.

 

  1. Other forms
  • All other forms should be filed electronically wherever possible.
    • Where Companies House will only accept paper documents as it currently stands only the Cardiff office is open to receive post and all same-day filings have been suspended.
  • Companies House are prioritising applications to remove your home address from the public register (Form SR01)
    • Please note there is a £55 charge for each document the address is to be removed from.
    • These applications should be emailed to Companies House on a separate email address ( DSR@companieshouse.gov.uk ) and the fee paid over the telephone.
  • Companies House has suspended all paper applications to restrict the disclosure of your information under sections 243, 790ZF and 790ZG of the Companies Act 2006.

 

  1. Filing Responsibilities
  • It is important to note that the directors are responsible for filing documents on time;
  • Companies House do have the power to issue criminal proceedings against directors for documents not brought up to date.
    • Should the Crown be successful in bringing a prosecution, the conviction will result in a criminal record and a potentially unlimited fine for each document not delivered on time.

Barrons has put together a helpful guide to running your business during the coronavirus crisis.