File your private company accounts before the deadline

Santa comes but once a year, and so – unfortunately ­– does the deadline to file your company accounts.

Generally speaking, your accounts need to be filed with Companies House nine months after your company’s financial year-end. If you miss the deadline you face penalties that will increase the longer you leave it. The amounts you have to pay as a private limited company are as follows:

Up to 1 month £150
1 to 3 months £375
3 to 6 months £750
More than 6 months £1,500

Worse, the penalty is doubled if your accounts are late two years in a row. If you fail to file the accounts at all, you can be fined and your company struck off the register if you don’t send Companies House your accounts or annual return.

Late filing penalty appeals

If you do you get landed with a penalty, it is possible to appeal by giving a good reason why you couldn’t file your accounts on time.

You must prove the circumstances were both out of your control and made it impossible for you to meet the deadline.For example, if a fire destroyed your records a few days before your accounts were due, that would be an acceptable reason.

It’s worth noting, however, that Companies House says you can’t appeal by claiming:

  • your company is dormant
  • you can’t afford to pay
  • it was your accountant’s (or anybody else’s) fault
  • you didn’t know when or how to file your accounts
  • your accounts were delayed or lost in the post
  • the directors live or were travelling overseas.


You can send a letter to the address on the front page of the penalty invoice that Companies House send you, or send an email including the penalty reference to You should get a response within ten working days and the penalty will not be collected while your appeal is being considered.

That said, it’s a lot less hassle to get your accounts filed by the appropriate deadline. If you’re not sure when your accounts are due, get in touch with us today here at THP and we’ll help you find out.

Avatar for Mark Ingle
About Mark Ingle

Owner-manager business specialist, Mark Ingle is key to building relationships with clients at the Chelmsford office. “I like to see clients enterprises grow and succeed.” Mark explains, “The team here has a lot to offer and I can see a lot of new businesses responding to that.”

Having worked for accountancy practices in London and Essex, Mark has worked with a range of companies varying in size. For Mark, THP stands out for its “local firm approach with the resources of a larger practice.”

Although a keen traveller, Mark is focused on giving his clients at THP the highest service, “Right now, I aim to help the clients we have to the best of my ability which will help me attract more of the right clients in the future.”

Mark’s specialist skills:

  • Annual and Management Accounts
  • Tax and VAT
  • Strategy and Business Planning
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Business Development
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