Don’t forget there are penalties for filing accounts late

Sutton business advisers and accountants Harmer Slater has reminded the borough’s businessmen there are late filing penalties which are designed to encourage companies to file their accounts and reports on time. The penalties were introduced in 1992 and were significantly increased from February 2009.

All companies, private and public, large or small, trading or non-trading must send their accounts to Companies House. The late filing penalties guide (GP5) has recently been updated.

The table of penalties for late submission is as follows:
How late are the accounts delivered     Penalty – Private Company     Penalty – PLC
Not more than one month     £150     £750
More than one month but not more than three months     £375     £1,500
More than three months but not more than six months     £750    £3,000
More than six months    £1,500     £7,500

Failure to file annual returns or accounts is a criminal offence which could see the directors personally fined in the criminal courts. Late penalties which are unpaid will be referred to collection agents and could result in a County Court judgement or a Sheriff Court decree against the company.

It is possible to appeal against a penalty, but it will only be successful if the appellant is able to demonstrate that the circumstances of the late filing were exceptional.


Harmer Slater are an independent firm of chartered accountants and business advisers located in Sutton, close to central London with experience in dealing with listed and unlisted businesses operating across a range of industries in the UK and overseas. For full details go to HARMER

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