On 2 July 2019, Companies House released an updated late filing penalties manual (version 10) which will come into force on 1 October 2019.
Companies House uses the manual as guidance when assessing penalty appeals that have been submitted by businesses.
According to the Companies House press release, there have been two main changes to the late filing penalties manual.
Updated policy when accounts rejected but not received back by the company or the presenter (Part 17 Scenario 1). This policy has been updated such that Companies House “will no longer exercise discretion where [it has] rejected accounts within enough time, but they’ve not been received by the company or presenter.”
Fundamentally, it is a company’s responsibility to check that its accounts have been accepted by Companies House. What’s more, a company should ensure that its reports are prepared and delivered in an acceptable format, whether paper or electronic.
Extended processing times for paper documents (Part 17, Scenarios 4, 5 and 6). The processing time has been increased from five to eight days to reflect Companies House’s “internal processing target for paper documents more accurately.”
The result of this change is that, should Companies House take longer than eight working days to examine and reject paper accounts, it may exercise discretion and not collect any resulting penalty.
If you wish to read the updated manual in full, then you can do so here.
What’s the reason behind the changes?
Companies House undertakes regular reviews of its practices. Changes to the late filing penalties manual were introduced to ensure that its content “was up to date and used clear and consistent language throughout.”
A push towards electronic filing
Alongside the announcement of updates to the late filing penalties manual, Companies House has taken the opportunity to remind businesses to use its online filing service wherever possible. Some benefits of online filing are lower rejection rates when filing electronically compared to filing paper accounts, as well as the fact that it’s quicker to file electronically.
DataTracks has over a decade of experience preparing accounts in XBRL and iXBRL formats for filing with regulators across the world. If your business needs help getting your company’s reports ready for electronic filing, speak to a member of the DataTracks team to see how we can help. Call us on 020 3608 8035 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.