Companies House has announced the following measures to help ease pressure on businesses during the Coronavirus outbreak:
- Filing accounts: Companies can apply online for an automatic and immediate 3 month extension to file accounts if the company’s accounts will be filed late because it has been affected by COVID-19. This will not change the due dates for future accounts. The application must be made before the company’s filing deadline. However, if your company has already extended their filing deadline or shortened their accounting reference period, it may not be eligible for an extension.
- Late filing penalties: If you do not apply for an extension and your company’s accounts are filed late, an automatic penalty is imposed by Companies House. The registrar has a limited discretion not to collect a penalty and has stated that appeals based on COVID-19 will be considered.
In addition, Companies House has made changes to its services during the Coronavirus outbreak:
- All same day services have been suspended, this includes same day incorporations (companies/LLPs) and changes of name
- The contact centre is now closed. Queries should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Many of the offices are closed to the public. Post usually sent to the London office should be sent directly to the Cardiff office address (Companies House, Crown Way, Cardiff, CF14 3UZ)
- All paper applications to restrict the disclosure of information under sections 243, 790ZF and 790ZG of the Companies Act 2006 have been suspended. Applications should be made online
- Application to remove a director’s home address from the public register should be submitted as a paper form together with the cheque or postal order and sent by post. To ensure the application is not delayed you can also email a copy of the form to DSR@companieshouse.gov.uk
- Invoices should not be posted, they should be emailed to email@example.com
Companies House has also announced that the government is looking at solutions for the impact of COVID-19 on companies’ ability to hold Annual General Meetings. Updated guidance on this matter is expected to be published in due course.