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What to do When You Can’t File Your Annual Accounts on Time?

Posted 20 Jan 16

One of the most common questions our clients ask us relates to determining the date which their annual accounts and Annual Returns need to be delivered by.

We dedicated a separate article focusing only on answering this question, however, if you still feel confused, contact us today at Tawanda Accountants and our experts will be happy to dispel any doubts you have.

However, another common problem business owners encounter is failing to prepare their companies’ accounts in time. It can be a result of lack of knowledge of HMRC laws or difficulties with finding and organising companies’ documents. No matter what the reason is, it is important that you understand that you can become a subject of court prosecution resulting in high penalty fines if you fail to complete any responsibility you have, as a company director towards HMRC and Companies House. The fines increase in relation to time passed, so if you believe you might have missed a deadline, you need to contact a professional and certified accountant as soon as possible to sort this matter out.


If you file your financial statement after your set deadline, your company will be a subject to an automatic fine, which increases the longer you delay your submission. If your accounts are filed late two years in a row, the penalty fine will be doubled.

It is important that you understand the seriousness of the impact this penalty might have on the future of your business, or even, on your role as a director. Failure to file the company accounts is treated as a criminal offence and thus, the company’s director might be subjected to large personal fines and even disqualification from the role altogether. Prolonged failure to deliver company financial statements might result in the company being removed from the public register.

It might happen that your company’s accounts filing deadline will fall on a Sunday or Bank Holiday. This does not mean you can deliver the accounts on the first working day after the weekend. When it happens, you must ensure that you deliver your financial statements before this date or you will be a subject to an automatic fine.

If you believe your accounting reference date is inconvenient to you, you may change it as many ties as you like, but only if it shortens the accounting period. If, on the other hand, the new date would lengthen the accounting period, certain restrictions apply.

The best and safest way to maintain an up-to-date bookkeeping is by hiring a professional accountant, who will take the burden of paperwork off you. At Tawanda Accountants we ensure our clients never have to worry about HMRC and Companies House deadlines and that their documents are kept safe and ready for investigation at any time. If you would like to find out how we can help you better manage your business, contact us today.