Companies House are now taking a more aggressive approach towards late filing of company accounts and annual returns. In addition to incremental fines being imposed on a company increasing up to a maximum of £1,500 and being doubled if a company files its accounts late in two successive years, failure to file accounts or annual returns is a criminal offence which can result in the Directors being fined personally in criminal courts. Companies House also has the authority to strike companies off the register altogether. It is important to note that the penalties also apply to flat management and dormant companies. In order to avoid possible fines and action against the Directors we would recommend the following:-
- Read any correspondence received from Companies House and contact us immediately if you have concerns.
- Provide us with information and records that we request in a timely manner. The early provision of information is essential.
Please be aware that Directors and Secretaries may be prosecuted if the Annual Return is filed late at Companies House. Such a conviction would mean a criminal record and a fine of up to £5,000. This is particularly important in cases where we are not the registered office. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you wish to discuss the contents of this post.