COVID Changes at Companies House
In an attempt to protect staff and to maintain their services, Companies House have made quite a few changes to their operations. Working under COVID safe guidelines and with reduced numbers able to work in the offices, there have been some significant delays in their processing of correspondence, documents and forms. It’s hoped that the announced changes will reduce the burden, the key changes including:
1 Do not send paper documents or correspondence unless it’s absolutely necessary.
For all of our clients, we have enabled PROOF, which prevents Companies House accepting paper forms. This is to reduce the risk of corporate identity fraud, but also means that almost all changes can be submitted online.
If you’re a client and need to amend any of the records at Companies House, please get in touch as we can probably take care of them for you. Otherwise, Companies House have set up an online process to upload a paper document to them.
Correspondence should be sent by email, using the address ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.
2. Company Authentication Codes
The Authentication Code is unique to your company, and sent once the company is set up on the Register. Copies can be obtained but would ordinarily only be sent to the company’s Registered Office, as with the original notification.
It is temporarily possible to have your authentication code sent to an officer’s home address, being a Director or Secretary. You can arrange this by following this link.
3. Extended filing deadlines
In June 2020, an automatic filing extension was granted to all limited companies, who were automatically given longer to file their accounts and some other documentation, without the need to request an extension. The amended due dates were added to the company records, but apply to all companies whose original filing deadline falls between 27th June 2020 and 5th April 2021.
If your filing deadline falls on the 6th April 2021 or after, you will need to apply for an extension if you need more time to file your accounts.
You can check your new filing deadline here.
NB: This extension does NOT apply to the filing of Corporation Tax Returns and the payment of any Corporation Tax which may be due as result. We would therefore recommend that you aim to have your accounts prepared by the original deadline, so that you know whether you have tax to pay or not and can plan accordingly.
The filing deadline for Confirmation Statements due within the same period has also been extended from 14 days to 42 days. As we prepare and file the Confirmation Statements for our clients, we will take care of these as usual.
4. Striking off or dissolution of Companies
All voluntary and compulsory dissolutions have been suspended until 21st February 2021, including those already progressing the system.
5. Late Filing Penalties
For a temporary period, Companies House will consider payment plans for late filing penalties. You can also appeal a late filing penalty, though the guidance emphasises that your reasoning for doing so will need to be ‘exceptional’.
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