Companies House has announced the following measures to help ease pressure on businesses during the Coronavirus outbreak:
- Filing accounts: Companies can apply online for an automatic and immediate 3 month extension to file accounts if the company’s accounts will be filed late because it has been affected by COVID-19. This will not change the due dates for future accounts. The application must be made before the company’s filing deadline. However, if your company has already extended their filing deadline or shortened their accounting reference period, it may not be eligible for an extension.
- Late filing penalties: If you do not apply for an extension and your company’s accounts are filed late, an automatic penalty is imposed by Companies House. The registrar has a limited discretion not to collect a penalty and has stated that appeals based on COVID-19 will be considered.
Companies will temporarily be extended greater flexibilities, including holding AGMs online or postponing the meetings.
Companies should also consider whether they are part of the Companies House Online Web Filing Service. Subject to certain restrictions, this scheme enables registered companies to process online a vast majority of Companies House forms that would otherwise be made by paper.