Received HMRC late filing penalty

Received HMRC late filing penalty for failure to submit your company’s corporation tax return. The HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) automatically send out late filing penalty as soon as your tax return is overdue.

Your company is dormant

Do not ignore this penalty notice even if your company is dormant and you have nothing to declare in your company’s tax return.

In this instance, you must write to HMRC to let them know that your company is dormant. Enclose a copy of your dormant company account to prove it.

When writing to HMRC, you must include your Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number. With your UTR number, HMRC staff would have a big smile on their face when processing your company’s tax affairs.

Bear in mind, HMRC staff are handling 4,316,395 companies in the United Kingdom. Your allocated UTR would give them the lightning speed to access and update your company’s tax affairs.

HMRC may waive your late filing penalty in this circumstance if you can prove your company is dormant.

To avoid you received HMRC late filing penalty again in the future, write to HMRC to let them know about your company’s trading status at the same time you submit your confirmation statement and dormant account with Companies House.

Your company is trading

In this instance, you must complete the CT600 form for your company and submit it to HMRC via a trusted online software platform.

In addition, you must pay the late filing penalty. They are many ways you can pay HMRC – by debit or credit card, a bank transfer, through a Post Office and by cheque.

Take note that the late filing penalty from HMRC is separate from the late filing penalty issued by Companies House for late filing of your company accounts.

Late filing penalty for limited liability partnership

Late filing penalty for Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) when you deliver your partnership accounts late to Companies House. Even if your accounts were just late by one day.

This late filing penalty is also applied to LLP that is dormant since it’s incorporation. In other words, even if your LLP is dormant you must still submit your dormant LLP accounts.

Usually, Companies House will send you the late filing penalty invoice after your LLP accounts were filed, accepted and published for public record. Consequently, your LLP must pay the late filing penalty unless you intend to appeal against it.

Generally, Companies House would consider your appeal if your circumstance leading to late filing of your accounts was exceptional. Subsequently, they may waive the late filing penalty for your limited liability partnership.

Ordinarily, when comes to assessing what is exceptional circumstance, Companies House is very strict. For example, your LLP is dormant. You did not know you require to submit a dormant account or that you do not have money to pay the penalty. Both of these circumstances are not considered exceptional.

On the other hand, you would have a better chance to get your late filing penalty waived. For instance, there was an unannounced postal strike by Royal Mail and you were affected by it.

However, if you are unable to pay the penalty now. You may write to Companies House to request to pay the penalty by instalments. You must include your propose instalment payment plan. For instance, say your penalty is £1500. You would like to pay £300 per month and you would settle it in 5 months.

Deliver accounts lateLate filing penalty apply
Less than 1 month £150
Less than 3 months £375
Less than 6 months £750
More than 6 months £1500

See accountants advice if you are not familiar with Companies House filings for your limited liability partnership.

Late filing penalty appeal

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,

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

  1. Your company is dormant and you thought you don’t need to file any account.
  2. You cannot afford to pay the penalty.
  3. Your accountant was ill thus not available to finish off the accounts.
  4. You relied on your accountant and they made errors.
  5. Former accountant refused to release accounting records to new accountant resulted in the delay.
  6. Incorrect advice is given by Companies House. You may have a chance if you have evidence to substantiate this claim.
  7. 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.
  8. These are your first accounts.
  9. You are not familiar with the Companies House filing requirements.
  10. A company director has financial difficulties (including bankruptcy).
  11. Your accounts were delayed or lost in the post.
  12. Your director lives or was travelling overseas.
  13. 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.

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