Companies House and COVID-19

Posted Friday 1st May 2020

Among the mundane things to have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are the Companies House filing obligations that companies are subject to. Following some temporary guidance implemented in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of these processes have now returned to normal.

Although Companies House’s offices still remain closed to the public, their main Contact Centre has reopened. The continued use of online services is still encouraged wherever possible, as there may be delays in processing paper forms sent to Companies House by post.

Accounts – filing extension

The automatic extensions granted for filing Annual Accounts and Confirmation Statements have come to an end. Businesses will therefore need to file such documents by their usual deadlines.

However, if you are not going to be able to file your company’s Annual Accounts on time – but you have not yet missed the filing deadline – you may still be able to apply online for a 3-month extension. If the application is approved and you complete the filing before the extended deadline, there will be no late filing penalty.

This option will only be available if your Annual Accounts will be late because your company is affected by coronavirus.  If your company has already extended its filing deadline, or shortened its accounting reference period, it may not be eligible for an extension.

You can make your application here:

Accounts – late filing penalties

If your company is issued with a late filing penalty because of a delay caused by COVID-19, Companies House have stated that appeals will be treated sympathetically, providing a break for companies to pay late filing penalties as well as payment plans for late filing penalties.

Note that Companies House has very little discretion when it comes to actually collecting penalties – if you need to submit an appeal as a result of the COVID-19 situation, be sure to do so without delay.

Strike-off policy

After a temporary suspension, the usual processes for both voluntary and compulsory strike off have now been resumed.

For further information on recent developments please contact Matthew Overton or any other member of our Corporate & Commercial team.

This article is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any action.

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