The government has already introduced several measures to support businesses and individuals through the COVID-19 pandemic, issuing regular advice for business owners and the self-employed during a period of uncertainty.

Companies House have now confirmed businesses may file their accounts up to two months late if affected by COVID-19, to provide some much-needed breathing space in a time where many businesses are facing intense pressure and uncertainty.

Businesses are already able to apply for an extension in the event of unforeseen situations which prevent accounts being filled – for example, because of a sudden and unexpected illness, flooding or fire that causes damage to accounting records. However, given the unprecedented challenges that many businesses are facing as a result of the COVID–19 pandemic and its wider implications, Companies House have made this option available to all business owners.

There is one caveat – to benefit from the delay, businesses must act before their original filing deadline. If you do not apply for the extension and your accounts are filed late, an automatic penalty will still be imposed.

Under normal circumstances, every company is required by law to submit their accounts, reports and confirmation statements to Companies House each year – it’s the company’s responsibility to take appropriate measures to ensure accounts are filed on time, and failure to do so results in an automatic penalty.

You are able to apply for an extension online or via post – more information can be found on the Governments website, which you can access by clicking here. Each appeal will be treated on a case-by-case basis under existing poor health policies.

If you have any concerns regarding the filing of accounts, or indeed the wider impact COVID-19 is already having on your business, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our advisors as a matter of urgency. Alternatively, you can sign up to receive our frequent updates by clicking here.

The situation continues to evolve on a daily business, but we’re here to help support you and your business through this unprecedented period.