You may initiate a late filing penalty appeal if you think your circumstance led to late filing was exceptional. Usually, Companies House automatically issues a late filing penalty notice to the limited company because their accounts were late. For your information, this late filing penalty is different from fines imposed for failing to deliver your confirmation statement.
Let see what is considered an exceptional circumstance. Generally, an exceptional circumstance must be out of your control in order for your late filing penalty appeal be accepted.
You must appeal in writing. Normally, Companies House will reply you within 10 working days. At the same time, they will suspend the recovery action against you while they are considering your appeal.
Exceptional circumstances for late filing penalty appeal
First of all, the registrar has very limited discretion not to collect a late filing penalty. However, Companies House is willing to waive the late filing penalty when an unforeseen catastrophe strikes your company at a critical time. For examples,
- A severe computer failure and your accounting records were lost a few days (like 5 working days) before your filing deadline. For this reason, you may have a chance to get your penalty waived.
- Your accounts were delayed due to unannounced strike action by Royal Mail.
Non exceptional circumstances
On the other hand, the registrar will not consider your late filing penalty appeal if the delayed in filing your accounts was one of the following.
- Your company is dormant and you thought you don’t need to file any account.
- You cannot afford to pay the penalty.
- Your accountant was ill thus not available to finish off the accounts.
- You relied on your accountant and they made errors.
- Former accountant refused to release accounting records to new accountant resulted in the delay.
- Incorrect advice is given by Companies House. You may have a chance if you have evidence to substantiate this claim.
- Never receive a reminder from Companies House. You must proof this is not Companies House’s fault. If you did not get your reminders because your registered office address is outdated then you stand no chance to appeal. It is your director’s responsibility to provide updated registered office address if you no longer have access to mails sent to your current registered office.
- These are your first accounts.
- You are not familiar with the Companies House filing requirements.
- A company director has financial difficulties (including bankruptcy).
- Your accounts were delayed or lost in the post.
- Your director lives or was travelling overseas.
- Another director is responsible for preparing the accounts.
Likewise, the same appeal rules apply to Limited liability partnership (LLP) accounts filing too.
If you have any questions about the late filing penalty, contact Companies House or speak to our accountants.