Companies House and HMRC – filing deadlines and penalties

If you have a company registered at Companies House you are obliged to file various documents for the company throughout its existence. If you fail to do so by the deadlines you may incur penalties. Nicola Roby, Director at CHW Small Business Accountants in Bolton gives a brief overview of the deadlines and penalties you could face for late submission.

Statutory Accounts

You are required to file the first set of statutory accounts with Companies House 21 months after registration of the company. Following this, annual statutory accounts must be filed 9 months after the company’s financial year end.

Failure to submit your accounts on time will incur a financial penalty from Companies House which increases depending on how late your accounts are. Current penalties are as follows:

  • Up to 1 month late – £150
  • 1 to 3 months late – £375
  • 3 to 6 months late – £750
  • More than 6 months late – £1,500

The penalty is doubled if your accounts are late 2 years in a row.

Confirmation statement (formerly the annual return)

This is the statement you’ll receive from Companies House to verify your company’s data. You automatically get one of these when you open a company for the first time. Once your data has been confirmed your information will be displayed on the public register.

Presently, there is no fine for filing your confirmation statement late, however, Companies House will take action against the company for failing to file the statement, and will eventually remove the company from the public register.

Corporation tax return

This return is due to be submitted to HMRC within 12 months after the company’s financial year end. If the return is late the following penalties apply:

  • 1 day late – £100
  • 3 months late – additional £100
  • 6 months late – HMRC will estimate your tax bill and a penalty of 10% of any unpaid tax is issued
  • 12 months late – additional 10% of any unpaid tax
  • If your tax return is late 3 times in a row, the £100 penalties are increased to £500 each.

VAT return

If your company is VAT registered, a VAT return must be submitted for the period requested by HMRC. If either the return is late or full payment for the VAT due is not received on time the company will incur a ‘default’.

After a company has incurred a ‘default’, if it defaults again within 12 months a surcharge may be issued by HMRC. These surcharges are as follows:

If annual turnover is less than £150,000:

  • 2nd default: No surcharge
  • 3rd default: 2% (no surcharge if less than £400)
  • 4th default: 5% (no surcharge if less than £400)
  • 5th default: 10% or £30 (the greater value)
  • 6th default: 15% or £30 (the greater value)

If annual turnover is greater than £150,000:

  • 2nd default: 2% (no surcharge if less than £400)
  • 3rd default: 5% (no surcharge if less than £400)
  • 4th default: 10% or £30 (the greater value)
  • 5th default: 15% or £30 (the greater value)
  • 6th default: 15% or £30 (the greater value)

Filing and payment deadlines can be easily missed especially when you are busy concentrating on running and growing your business. That is why many businesses choose to use an accountant to look after these aspects of their business

For more advice contact our experienced team at CHW Small Business Accountants in Bolton today at 01204 534031 or via our contact us page.


This article is for general guidance only. It provides an outline, and may not include points which are important to your situation. You should not depend on this blog without taking advice based on the full facts of your case. The information given was correct at the time of publication.

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