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File your private company accounts before the deadline

Christmas 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 Jon Pryse-Jones
About Jon Pryse-Jones

Since joining THP in 1978, Jon Pryse-Jones has been hands on with every area of the business. Now specialising in strategy, business planning, and marketing, Jon remains at the forefront of the growth and development at THP.

An ideas man, Jon enjoys getting the most out of all situations, “I act as a catalyst for creative people and encourage them to think outside the box,” he says, “and I’m not afraid of being confrontational. It often leads to a better result for THP and its clients.”

Jon’s appreciation for THP extends to his fellow team members and the board.  “They really know how to run a successful business,” he says.  He’s keen on IT and systems development as critical to success, and he continues to guide THP to be at the cutting edge and effective.

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