As a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the UK government has recently announced temporary measures to extend certain filing deadlines for companies in the UK. While many businesses are having to deal with staff on furlough, medical leave or reduced hours, compiling information to meet filing deadlines has become time-consuming and challenging. For this reason, the government is providing extended deadlines for companies to gather, collate, and file with the Companies House. These measures will remain in place until 6th April 2021.
Companies House: 4 Key Filing Extensions
The following are four noteworthy changes to filing deadlines. These extensions will be automatically applied by the Companies House. There’s no need to request the extensions mentioned below as the Companies House is working on updating all entity records to reflect the new filing due dates.
1. Company Accounts
Prior to the deadline extension, private companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP) registered with the UK Companies House were required to submit their financials within 9 months of their Accounting Reference Date. For public limited companies (PLCs) and Societas Europaea (SEs), the annual accounts had to be submitted within 6 months.
As the preparation, finalisation and auditing of a company’s accounts involves several steps, and given the limitation on company resources due to COVID-19, these deadlines have been extended.
- On 26th June 2020, the Companies etc. (Filing Requirements) (Temporary Modifications) Regulations 2020 were signed into law and came into force on 27th June 2020. This is applicable to private limited companies and Limited Liability Partnership. The deadline for filing accounts has now been extended to 12 months.
- On 25th June 2020, the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 received royal assent and came into force on 26th June 2020. This is applicable to public limited companies and Societas Europaea. The deadline for filing accounts has now been extended to 9 months.
However, the above changes do not apply if a company has already applied or has been granted an extension prior to the announcement of these filing changes. These measures only change the timeline for filing and will have no effect on the accounts reporting period (ARP).
2. Mortgages and Charges
For charges created on or after 6th June 2020, the period to deliver the particulars of a charge will automatically increase to 31 days (previously 21 days). This 31-day period starts the day after the charge was created. Where the court has already extended the period to deliver the charge, this further 31-day extension doesn’t apply.
3. Confirmation Statements
Confirmation statements is an annual filing that shows any changes made to the shareholding, directorship or persons with significant control. Previously, these changes needed to be notified within 14 days of the review period. This deadline has now been extended to 42 days. It’s important to note that this doesn’t change the reporting or review period, only the timeline to deliver the confirmation statements.
4. Event-Based Filing
Companies will now have more time to file details of certain company events (i.e. changes in directors, registered office address, constitution, capital, share transfers). In particular, this includes any changes they’re required to file to update the company’s record before delivering the confirmation statement. The period allowed to deliver details of the event will increase to 42 days.
Remember: All above-mentioned changes are temporary. The filing deadline extensions will not apply after 6th April 2021.
See here for all modifications and extensions to filing deadlines.
What Are Your Next Steps?
Dealing with the complexities of handling corporate filings and compliance requirements in the UK can be challenging. Navigating company formation, due diligence searches and legalisation processes can also be difficult if you don't know where to look or go for help. Be sure to work with a reputable service company if you need guidance through the above temporary filing extensions, feel free to contact us and we’ll see how we can best assist you.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered, or relied upon, as legal advice.