Applying for more time to file your company’s accounts

How to ask Companies House to extend your filing deadline if an unplanned event stops you filing your accounts.

All companies must send their accounts, reports and confirmation statements to Companies House every year. If a company’s accounts are filed late, the law imposes an automatic penalty.

Your company should take appropriate measures to ensure accounts are filed on time. You should also file your accounts online if you’re able to.

When to apply

You can apply to extend your accounts deadline if you cannot send your accounts because of an event that’s outside of your control - for example, because of an unexpected illness or if a fire has destroyed company records a few days before your filing deadline.

You must apply for the extension before your filing deadline.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

On 25 June 2020, the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 received royal assent.

Some of the measures in the Act came into effect immediately on Friday 26 June. Other measures came into effect on Saturday 27 June when the secondary legislation came into force.

The measures introduced by the Act will relieve the burden on businesses during the coronavirus outbreak and allow them to focus all their efforts on continuing to operate.

Companies and other types of business registered at Companies House will get more time to file accounts. We are in the process of updating all deadlines on Companies House service.

We’ll update your filing deadline automatically. You do not need to apply for an extension.

Late filing penalties: coronavirus

If your accounts are filed late, an automatic penalty will be imposed. The registrar has very limited discretion not to collect a penalty.

Read our guidance on late filing penalties and appeals.

Each appeal is treated on a case-by-case basis, and we already have policies in place to deal with appeals based upon unforeseen poor health. We’ll consider appeals based upon coronavirus under these policies.

How to apply

To apply online you’ll need:

  • your company number
  • information about why you need more time
  • any documents to support your applications (optional)

We cannot accept your application by email. It’s taking longer than usual to process emails because of coronavirus.

What happens next

We’ll review your application and make a decision about your extension request.

It’s important to file your accounts by the deadline date if possible. You should not wait for a decision about your extension request.

We’ll contact you by email to tell you if your application has been successful or not. We may also contact you if we need more information.

If we agree to extend your filing deadline, you must file your accounts before the new deadline date or your company will get a late filing penalty.

This will not change your future accounts deadline dates.

It’s taking longer than usual to process applications because of coronavirus. This means you may have applied for more time to file your accounts, but not had confirmation that it’s been accepted.

You may receive a letter from Companies House chasing for outstanding accounts.

More information

Coronavirus guidance for Companies House customers, employees and suppliers

Guidance: Filing your company’s accounts

Guidance: Online filing and email reminders for companies

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do

COVID-19: guidance for employers and businesses

Published 15 November 2019
Last updated 26 June 2020 + show all updates
  1. The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 came into effect on 26 June 2020. Companies and other types of business registered at Companies House will get more time to file accounts. Link added to guidance.

  2. Advice for companies affected by Coronavirus.

  3. First published.