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Late filing penalties were introduced to discourage directors of companies from filing accounts and reports late. All companies, including small or non-trading companies must send their accounts and reports to Companies House every year. If you submit company accounts and reports late, Companies House will issue an automatic penalty.
The period allowed for filing your company’s accounts depends on whether you are filing your first accounts since incorporation or subsequent accounts.
If your company’s first accounts cover a period of more than 12 months, you must deliver them to Companies House within 21 months of the date of incorporation for private companies and within 18 months for public companies, or 3 months from the accounting reference date, whichever is the longer.
A private company has 9 months from the end of the accounting reference period in which to deliver its accounts. A public company has 6 months. If you change the accounting reference period the filing time may be reduced. The director of the company is personally responsible for ensuring the accounts are delivered before the deadline. Delivery means actual receipt at Companies House in the correct format. If the accounts are late a penalty is automatically imposed.