Companies House is advising the 300,000 companies that must file accounts by the end of September to not leave it to the last minute.
It is also recommending companies file their accounts online, for which a company authentication code is required (details at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/30-september-filing-deadline-for-accounts). Once applied for, the authentication code is sent by post to the company’s registered office and can take up to five days to arrive.
A spokesman said: “File online before your deadline and we’ll send you an email to confirm we’ve received your accounts. We’ll send you another email when we’ve registered your accounts. It can take as little as 15 minutes from start to finish and you’ll know your accounts have been delivered on time.
“If you’re a small company, you cannot file abbreviated accounts any more. Find out your accounts filing options for small companies. And you’ll still need to file accounts if your company is dormant.”
Companies House says its online filing service has inbuilt checks to help you avoid mistakes. Accounts filed on paper need to be manually checked, and can only be checked during office opening hours, and can take over a week to process.
The spokesman added: “If you have to file paper accounts, you may want to use a guaranteed next day delivery service. Send your accounts well before the deadline in case you need time to resubmit them. If your accounts are rejected and you need to resend them, you could be too late to avoid a penalty. Postal delays will not be accepted as an excuse for late filing.
“If you cannot file your accounts on time, email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. Include your company name, number and the reasons you need an extension.”
Companies House online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Companies House has posted a video on how to file annual accounts (with captions) on YouTube – see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uku-BQhdZEM.