0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Forgotten your password?

companies to receive a 3 month extension period to file accounts during COVID-19

26 March 2020

Please note: the information contained in this legal update is correct as of the original date of publication

As part of the Government’s package to support businesses to manage the impact of COVID-19, it has announced that companies will from yesterday (25 March 2020) be given an additional 3 month period to file their accounts at Companies House.

In normal circumstances, subject to limited exemptions, all UK companies on the register must submit their accounts within 9 months (for private companies) or 6 months (for public companies) after the end of their financial year and failure to do so results in Companies House issuing an automatic penalty.

The Government and Companies House have created this joint initiative which allows companies to apply for a 3 month extension for filing their accounts to avoid such penalties.

Applying for the extension

An important point to note is that this 3 month extension is not a blanket extension for all UK companies and an application must be made to Companies House.

Such applications can be made online through a fast-tracked system and will take around 15 minutes to complete. As part of the agreed measures, where a company cites the issues surrounding coronavirus as the grounds for its application, Companies House will automatically and immediately grant the 3 month extension. We therefore recommend that any company which may be struggling through this unprecedented period to apply for this extension in good time to ease the administrative burden of meeting their accounting deadline.

However, please note that:

  • companies which have already extended their filing deadline for any other reason prior to this policy, or alternatively shortened their accounting reference period, may be ineligible for this extension;
  • companies whose filing deadlines have already passed would not be able to apply for an extension; and
  • companies will be notified by email within 5 working days with confirmation as to whether the application has been successful. It is therefore important to ensure that accounts are filed by the due date, if possible – there is no grace period pending a decision on an extension request.

Full guidance on applying for the extension can be found here.

Things to note

  • This policy will be kept under continuous review by the Government and amended as necessary on the basis of any progress surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The government is also consulting on the impact that the coronavirus “lockdown” is having on companies’ ability to hold annual general meetings and looking at potential solutions. Updated guidance on this matter is expected to be published in due course.

training and events

27May

In-house lawyers forum - 27 May 2021 Online

We look at the latest Covid-19 employment status, IR35 developments and commercial updates including the use of crypto assets and cookie claims.

View event

10Jun

In-house lawyers forum - 10 June 2021 Online

In this session, we look at the damages and commercial disputes and the route to net-zero – how the sustainability agenda and the need to innovate will impact who you contract with, and how.

View event

Coronavirus support

We are helping across business, health, education and government sectors:

focus on...

Legal updates

Covid-19 and dilapidations: a change to the working world

A reduction in demand for office space would in turn lead to an increase in dilapidations and repair claims - what is the possible impact?

View

Legal updates

Extending Covid-19 support – how to avoid the pitfalls

Throughout the pandemic, many businesses have made good use of the HMRC-administered Covid-19 relief schemes. Such support has helped them survive the difficult economic conditions and manage staffing and revenue issues as a result of the strict lockdown rules.

View

The requirements for Net Zero - its no April Fools

With Pellings, we discussed the current statutory framework to achieve net zero and how this is likely to evolve, and also what practical steps both public and private sector organisations can take now.

View

Legal updates

Overhaul of UK audit regime

The Government is consulting on plans to modernise the country’s audit and corporate governance regime, building on the recommendations of three recent independent reviews with the goal of restoring business confidence by implementing reforms to improve the quality of corporate reporting.

View

The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up