There a number of filing deadlines throughout the year that you need to meet, these are for Companies House and HMRC. Failure to abide by these deadlines can result in penalties.
Companies House Late Filing
Late Company Accounts may result in a fine and the company being struck off the registers
|Time after the deadline
|Penalty (for private limited companies)
|Up to 1 month
|1 to 3 months
|3 to 6 months
|More than 6 months
|£1,500Penalties for public limited companies are different.
The penalty is doubled if your accounts are late 2 years in a row.
Appeal against a late filing penalty
If you want to appeal a penalty you must give a reason why you couldn’t file your accounts on time.
You must prove the circumstances were both out of your control and made it impossible for you to meet the deadline, for example a fire destroyed your records a few days before your accounts were due.
You can’t appeal by claiming:
- your company is dormant
- you can’t afford to pay
- it was your accountant’s (or anybody else’s) fault
- you didn’t know when or how to file your accounts
- your accounts were delayed or lost in the post
- the directors live or were travelling overseas
This used to be called the annual return, you need to provide Companies House with confirmation that the details held by them are correct. You can amend some details that are incorrect. You can be fined up to £5,000 and your company may be struck off if you don’t send your confirmation statement.
Company Tax Return
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|Time after your deadline
|HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will estimate your Corporation Tax bill and add a penalty of 10% the unpaid tax
|Another 10% of any unpaid tax
If your tax return is late 3 times in a row, the £100 penalties are increased to £500 each.
If your tax return is more than 6 months late
If your tax return is 6 months late, HMRC will write telling you how much Corporation Tax they think you must pay. This is called a ‘tax determination’. You can’t appeal against it.
You must pay the Corporation Tax due and file your tax return. HMRC will recalculate the interest and penalties you need to pay.
You may be able to appeal if you have a reasonable excuse, this is something that stopped you meeting a tax obligation that you took reasonable care to meet, for example:
- your partner or another close relative died shortly before the tax return or payment deadline
- you had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from dealing with your tax affairs
- you had a serious or life-threatening illness
- your computer or software failed just before or while you were preparing your online return
- service issues with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) online services
- a fire, flood or theft prevented you from completing your tax return
- postal delays that you couldn’t have predicted
- delays related to a disability you have
You must send your return or payment as soon as possible after your reasonable excuse is resolved.
What won’t count as a reasonable excuse
The following won’t be accepted as a reasonable excuse:
- you relied on someone else to send your return and they didn’t
- your cheque bounced or payment failed because you didn’t have enough money
- you found the HMRC online system too difficult to use
- you didn’t get a reminder from HMRC
- you made a mistake on your tax return