Advisers have been given a two-month extension to file accounts at Companies House due to the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
The Financial Reporting Council has announced that due to the current situation and the impact of coronavirus on companies, Companies House will automatically grant a two-month extension to file accounts.
But the service has warned companies to act before their filing deadline.
Currently the law gives a three month extension but this is only in extreme circumstances and has to be agreed with Companies House beforehand.
Due to the coronavirus, Companies House has changed their policy to automatically allow for a two month extension and then another month after that if companies can demonstrate extreme circumstances.
All companies must send their accounts, reports and confirmation statements to Companies House every year. If these are filed late the law imposes an automatic penalty.
However, there is currently some confusion as information on the government website has not been updated with the new exemptions and suggests that companies will need to ask for a deadline rather than it being applied automatically.
The guidance states: “If Covid-19 has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts, you should act before your filing deadline.
“If, immediately before the filing deadline, it becomes apparent that accounts will not be filed on time due to your company being affected by Covid-19, you may make an application to extend the period allowed for filing.”
Lucy Fergusson, corporate partner at Linklaters said: “The FRC’s announcement states that companies will be granted potentially much needed leeway by an extension of the deadlines for filing accounts if they are affected by Covid-19.
“However, the Companies House website suggests companies will need to ask for this extension rather than assuming it applies automatically.
“Clear guidance on matters such as this will be essential in the coming weeks and months.”
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