Prepare annual accounts for a private limited company

4. Penalties for late filing

You’ll have to pay penalties if you don’t file your accounts with Companies House by the deadline.

Time after the deadline Penalty (for private limited companies)
Up to 1 month £150
1 to 3 months £375
3 to 6 months £750
More than 6 months £1,500

Penalties for public limited companies are different.

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

You can be fined and your company struck off the register if you don’t send Companies House your accounts or confirmation statement.

Appeal against a late filing penalty

If you want to appeal a penalty you must give a reason why you couldn’t file your accounts on time.

You must prove the circumstances were both out of your control and made it impossible for you to meet the deadline, for example a fire destroyed your records a few days before your accounts were due.

You can’t appeal by claiming:

  • your company is dormant
  • you can’t afford to pay
  • it was your accountant’s (or anybody else’s) fault
  • you didn’t know when or how to file your accounts
  • your accounts were delayed or lost in the post
  • the directors live or were travelling overseas

You can send a letter to the address on the front page of the penalty invoice, or send an email including the penalty reference.

You’ll get a response within 10 working days and the penalty will not be collected while your appeal is being considered.

If your appeal is rejected you can write to the Senior Casework Unit (SCU) in the Late Filing Penalties Department at the Companies House office that deals with your account.

If the SCU rejects your appeal, you can write to the Independent Adjudicators and ask them to review your case.

Find out more about late penalty appeals in different situations.