Companies House reports 5% increase in firms filing late

Accountants may find themselves inundated with requests for bookkeeping assistance after new figures showed that small businesses are not filing reports on time.

Companies House recently published data showing that it imposed late filing fines on more than 12,000 businesses in June.

The executive agency’s report shows that 12,739 businesses were penalised and the fines totalled £6,305,000. Last month’s figures represent an increase of nearly 5% on the number of late filing companies compared to the previous month.

Under the current regulations, private companies must deliver their accounts within nine months of the end of their accounting reference period.

Companies House has now issued advice to firms to help them file in a timely manner. The agency explained that companies should allow enough time for their accounts to arrive and if the filing deadline expires on a Bank Holiday, or a Sunday, accounts still need to be filed by that date.

The guidance goes on to encourage business owners to mark the filing date in their diary or calendar, read the reminders that are sent to their registered office and if firms use an online accountant, they should instruct them to prepare and deliver the necessary paperwork in plenty of time.

HMRC is also threatening to fine small businesses that do not keep accurate bookkeeping records and all firms, regardless of size, would be well advised to implement a proper regime for managing their company finances.

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