Belfast Telegraph

Get your company details in on time and avoid having to pay the penalty

Question: I have just had a reminder from Companies House about filing my annual return, but looking at the post date it seems to have been delayed in the post and now I'm not sure I'll have time to file before I go on holiday. What could happen if I don't get my return in on time?

Jim Andrews of TaxAssist Accountants at Cregagh Road, Belfast, says:

You have 28 days from each anniversary of the company's formation to submit the return to Companies House and, while it seems like a fairly trivial form, it is a criminal offence not to file the return and directors, company secretaries and the company may be fined and prosecuted for late delivery.

With the deadlines and demands of filing with HMRC, too often Companies House filing is overlooked, or even forgotten until it is too late.

In these challenging times, businesses need to be using their cash and resources effectively, rather than incurring late filing penalties - especially given that Companies House can now levy eye-watering penalties of up to £3,000 for late filing of accounts.

Companies House has just released figures showing that in just 12 months, £90m worth of fines were levied against firms who filed company accounts late. Fines can also be issued for late delivery of annual returns.

Annual returns are designed to gather a snapshot of company information including company secretary and directors, registered office address, shareholders and share capital.

If documents are delivered late, Companies House also has the power to prosecute company directors and secretaries and even remove companies from the Register, in which case, company assets become the property of the Crown.