This article explains the Company Law (CA2006) requirements to file accounts with Companies House annually.
Who is required to file?
It addresses the time limits issue.
There are penalties for late filing.
Further, all other issues are also “touched upon”.
All Other Links.
A Company’s Statutory accounts are prepared from the financial records at the end of the company’s financial period (not necessary 12 months) and must be filed annually with the Companies House.
Filing is usually done online via the Companies House filing service.
Statutory accounts must include:
a ‘balance sheet’, which shows the value of everything the company owns, owes and is owed on the last day of the financial year;
a ‘profit and loss account’, which shows the company’s sales, running costs and the profit or loss it has made over the financial year;
notes about the accounts;
a director’s report (unless you’re a ‘micro-entity’).
Who is Required to File Accounts?
All Limited Companies and PLC’s must deliver accounts to Companies House every year.
There is no exception for dormant and non-trading companies, however, there are certain filing exemptions.
The normal time allowed for delivering accounts to Companies House is as follows, unless you are filing your company’s first accounts:
9 months from the accounting reference date for a private company.
6 months from the accounting reference date for a public company.
A period of months after a given date ends on the corresponding date in the appropriate month.
See the following examples.
A private company with an accounting reference date of 4 April has until midnight on 4 January of the following year to deliver its accounts (not 31 January).
This does not apply if your accounting reference date is the last day of the month. In this case the period allowed for filing accounts would end with the last day of the appropriate month.
A private company with an accounting reference date of 30 April has until midnight on 31 January of the following year to deliver its accounts (not 30 January).
If a filing deadline falls on a Sunday or Bank Holiday:
The law still requires you to file the accounts by that date. To avoid a penalty, make sure you send acceptable accounts in time to arrive before the deadline.
Deadlines for filing your company’s first accounts:
If you are filing your company’s first accounts and those accounts cover a period of more than 12 months, you must deliver them to Companies House:
within 21 months of the date of incorporation for private companies.
within 18 months of the date of incorporation for public companies.
3 months from the accounting reference date, whichever is longer.
Note that the deadline for delivery to Companies House is calculated to the exact day.
See the following example:
A private company incorporated on 1 January 2011 with an accounting reference date of 31 January has until midnight on 1 October 2012 (21 months from the date of incorporation) to deliver its accounts.
If the first accounts cover a period of 12 months or less, the normal times allowed for delivering accounts apply.
Deadline for filing your company’s accounts if you have shortened your account period
When a company shortens its accounting period, the new filing deadline will be the longer of the following two options:
9 months for a private company (or 6 months for a public company) from the new accounting reference date.
3 months from the date of receipt of the notice.
Applying for extra time to file your company’s accounts
You can apply to extend your filing deadline if an unplanned event stops you from filing your accounts.
Penalties for Late Filing
Failure to deliver accounts on time is a criminal offence.
Penalties apply if you fail to send your accounts to Companies House or file them late.
The penalty for limited liability partnership (LLP) is similar to that of the limited company.
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