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.
If your accounts will be late because your company is affected by COVID-19, and your filing deadline has not yet passed, you can apply for an automatic and immediate 3 month extension to file your accounts.
Companies that have already extended their filing deadline, or shortened their accounting reference period, may not be eligible for an extension.
Late filing penalties: COVID-19
If you do not apply for an extension and your accounts are filed late, an automatic penalty will be imposed. The registrar has very limited discretion not to collect a penalty.
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 COVID-19 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. We’re experiencing delays in processing emails due to the impact of COVID-19.
What happens next
We’ll review your application and make a decision about your extension request.
If your application is based on issues around COVID-19, you’ll be automatically and immediately granted a 3 month extension.
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 within 5 working days 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 the deadline dates for your future accounts.