Companies House to allow coronavirus-related filing extensions

Businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply to Companies House to request an extension to file their accounts, reports and confirmation statements.

The maximum extension is three months, but stringent conditions apply, the most important being that any appeal must be lodged before a company’s filing deadline.

Updated government advice states that all appeals are treated on a case-by-case basis, and the COVID-19 appeals process will follow the existing criteria based on those for unforeseen poor health.

The ICAEW have been told by a representative of Companies House “If you are impacted by the coronavirus (eg, self-isolating) and cannot file on time you can apply for an extension and we will automatically grant a two-month extension. If Companies House receive a request for a further extension, they will consider each case individually and grant a further month if deemed necessary. Companies House will not be able to allow any more additional time than this as the law states that they can only provide an extension for three months in total.”

As usual, any company accounts filed late will incur an automatic penalty.

However, businesses need to be aware that there is currently no blanket extension for company filings, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that other entities will offer similar extensions.  You should also consider other factors such as time limits in bank covenants and the availability of information for credit insurers if your accounts are delayed.

The situation is evolving and we will keep you updated of any further changes, however if you feel that your company will not be able to meet its normal filing requirements we recommend that you speak with your Barnes Roffe contact at the earliest opportunity.

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