Prepare annual accounts for a private limited company

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Penalties for late filing

You’ll have to pay penalties if you do not file your accounts and tax return with Companies House and HMRC on time.

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.

You’ll automatically receive a penalty notice if your accounts are filed after the deadline.

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 do not send Companies House your accounts or confirmation statement.

Appeal against a late filing penalty

You can appeal a penalty you get for filing your company accounts late.

If you want to appeal a penalty you must:

  • give a specific reason for not filing your accounts on time
  • include all relevant details, such as dates and times
  • prove the circumstances were out of your control, for example a fire destroyed your records a few days before your accounts were due

If you need help with your appeal because you have a disability or a health condition, you can contact Companies House.

Wait for Companies House to contact you with their decision. Companies House will not collect the penalty while they consider your appeal.

Your appeal may not be successful if:

  • these were your first accounts
  • your company is dormant
  • your company is a charity or a flat management company
  • you cannot afford to pay
  • another director is responsible for filing the accounts
  • it was your accountant’s (or anybody else’s) fault
  • you did not know when or how to file your accounts
  • your accounts were delayed or lost in the post
  • the directors live or were travelling overseas

Challenging an unsuccessful appeal

If your appeal is rejected and you have additional information to support your case, you can write to the senior casework manager in the Late Filing Penalties Department at the Companies House office that deals with your account.

If your appeal to the senior casework manager is unsuccessful, you can write to the independent adjudicators, and ask them to review your case.

If your appeal to the independent adjudicator is unsuccessful, you can submit a final application to the Registrar of Companies at the office that deals with your account.

You must follow this process, otherwise the registrar will not review your appeal.

Find out more about late penalty appeals in different situations.