In response to the Coronavirus, the Government have announced that the filing deadline for company accounts can be extended with prior agreement by 3 months.
Under the measures, any company that applies for an extension to file their results citing COVID-19 will automatically and immediately be granted an additional three-months but you must apply before your filing deadline.
Companies that have already extended their filing deadline, or shortened their accounting reference period, may not be eligible for an extension.
If you do not apply for an extension and your accounts have been filed late, an automatic penalty will be imposed. The registrar has very limited discretion to not collect a penalty.
Each appeal is treated on a case-by-case basis, and Companies House have policies in place to deal with appeals based upon unforeseen poor health. Appeals based upon COVID-19 will be considered under these policies.
However, it is worth noting that delaying the filing of accounts may impact your business adversely, for example:
- If you are seeking temporary funding due to the Coronavirus, then you will need your latest set of accounts as part of the lending process
- The credit rating of businesses are negatively impacted by filing accounts close to the filing deadline, however, at the moment it is unclear if this extension will adversely impact credit score.
- Suppliers often review the latest set of accounts to assess the balance sheet when setting credit limits, but if these accounts are not available, it will limit their capacity to do this.
It is important to note again that if you wish to extend your deadline, you must apply, it is not automatic. Click here to do this or contact your accountant to do this for you. Applications take just 15 minutes and must be done before the filing deadline.
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