The government and Companies House have announced a joint initiative starting from today (25 March 2020) allowing businesses to apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts to help prioritise managing the impact of COVID-19.
With the impact of COVID-19 being felt by all businesses across the country, the government and executive agencies are trying to ease the administrative burden that comes with running a business. The latest initiative introduced is a 3 month extension period for filing accounts at Companies House as understandably this is unlikely to be a top priority for companies during this exceptional period.
The usual filing requirement is that companies must file their annual accounts at Companies House within 9 months after the company’s financial year ends (or 21 months after the date the company is registered with Companies House) and companies that file their accounts late are issued with an automatic penalty fee.
The new initiative will now allow companies to extend the periods mentioned above by 3 months to file their annual accounts at Companies House.
It is important to note that the 3-month extension is not automatically granted and companies will have to apply for this or they may still be liable to an automatic penalty fee.
Apply to extend your accounts filing deadline
Use the link below and complete the online application form.
Government guidance states that “those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension. Applications can be made through a fast-tracked online system which will take just 15 minutes to complete.”
Alternatively, you can write a letter to Companies House to apply for the extension citing issues around COVID-19.
It is important to note that companies that have already extended their filing deadline, or shortened their accounting reference period may be ineligible for an extension.
This new initiative is a very much welcomed and we expect to see similar initiatives being implemented by the government and other executive agencies to help limit the impact by COVID-19 on businesses.
The government is also in discussions with company representative bodies, legal practitioners and others, to look at solutions for the impact COVID-19 may have on companies’ ability to hold Annual General Meetings. Once we have more detail, we will be sure to keep you all posted.
Our corporate team is ready to help and advise on how COVID-19 may affect your business, ensuring you take the correct action as swiftly as possible.