17 October 2022: You probably wouldn’t associate Companies House (“CH”) with the above term.
However, we have noticed an increase in the action being taken by CH in the form of County Court Judgements being filed for late filing penalties. In addition, we have also seen directors being taken to Court (personally) for failing to comply with their fiduciary duties in respect of meeting CH filing deadlines.
CH guidance has always stated (extract below from CH website):
Not filing your confirmation statements, annual returns or accounts is a criminal offence – and directors or LLP designated members could be personally fined in the criminal courts.
Failing to pay your late filing penalty can result in enforcement proceedings. Any criminal proceedings for not filing confirmation statements, annual returns or accounts is separate from (and in addition to) any late filing penalties issued by Companies House against the company.
There’s no penalty for filing your confirmation statements or annual returns late – but the registrar could take steps to strike off your company.
But it would appear that they have only been enforcing this criminal penalty recently.
The current penalties are (extract from CH website):
|Length of period (measured from the date the accounts are due)||Penalty for a private company or LLP||Penalty for a public company|
|Not more than 1 month||£150||£750|
|More than 1 month but not more than 3 months||£375||£1,500|
|More than 3 months but not more than 6 months||£750||£3,000|
|More than 6 months||£1,500||£7,500|
The penalty will be doubled if accounts are filed late in 2 successive financial years (beginning on or after 6 April 2008).
This will be a concern for a number of directors, especially those who are appointed directors of companies with no assets where a strike off proposal has been objected to.