Higher penalties for late filing of accounts

If you run your own company you will no doubt be aware that company law requires all companies to file a copy of their annual accounts at Companies House by their due date. Penalties become payable if these accounts are filed late. With effect from 1 February 2009 higher late filing penalties will be imposed on those companies that file their accounts late.

Due date
You may recall that under normal circumstances a company must file a copy of its accounts at Companies House within ten months of its year end. For accounting periods that begin on or after 6 April 2008 (that is April 2009 year ends and onwards for most), a new Companies Act has reduced this period to within nine months of the year end.

Higher penalties
The higher late filing penalties compared with those which previously applied are as follows:

Length of delay, measured from the date the accounts are due Previous Penalty Penalty from 1st Feb 09
Up to 1 month £100 £150
1 to 3 months £100 £375
3 to 6 months £250 £750
6 to 12 months £500 ;£1,500
Over 12 months £1,000 £1,500

For accounts prepared under the new Companies Act, the penalties will also be doubled for late filing in two successive years.