With everything going on right now, and businesses trying to carry on as usual as well as they can, the prospect of late filing fees and strike-offs may cause an added and very much unwanted stress.
However, Companies House is aware of the extra pressure, and that complying at these times may not be possible, so we have looked at the latest guidance, hopefully to put your minds at ease, and let you know what will and will not be done about it.
On 16 April 2020, Companies House announced temporary changes to its strike off policy and approach to late filing penalties to support companies affected by Covid-19 in meeting their legal responsibilities.
Companies House has paused the strike-off process to prevent companies being dissolved. If you are applying for voluntary strike off, a notice will still go into the Gazette as usual, but any further action will be suspended in order to protect those who wish to object to the company being struck off.
If you have failed to file annual accounts or confirmation statements on time, Companies House will still write to you, but will not publish a Gazette notice to state its intention to strike off the company.
It is worth noting that these changes will not apply to companies being dissolved under an insolvency procedure, such as liquidation or administration.
Companies House will treat late filing penalty appeals with sympathy, if late delivery was caused by the pandemic. They have also stated that they will provide a break for companies to pay late filing penalties, and offer support with payment plans for the penalties.
These recent changes are to build on the previous measures that were announced in March, under which companies can apply for an immediate and automatic three-month extension for filing their annual accounts where they are affected by COVID-19 issues.
If you are concerned about your company being struck off or the penalties for late filings if you or your business have been affected by COVID-19, we can help.
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